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Cruise ship will be fully vaccinated..?


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5 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

or even worse: Get started or lose THE business.

Or get started,  have an unmitigated health disaster on board with a significant public relations impact, then "lose THE business."

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Not sure if anyone has made this point in the previous pages of this thread, but here’s a thought of mine:

 

A factor in Viking’s hesitance to require only fully vaccinated guests (and crew) on their ships may be the daunting task of how to verify the person actually has been vaccinated.  It is a topic getting a lot of attention in the press, and may be resolved before too long as leading travel companies are working on plans.

 

However, in our experience getting shots over the last two months, many of the vaccine purveyors we originally signed up with are now reaching out to us offering appointments for shots.  So at least in our experience, there doesn’t seem to be anyone keeping track of who has been vaccinated.  Our only “documentation” is the CDC card with handwritten entries for both shots.  It doesn’t even have any kind of semi-official stamp, like on our yellow fever cards.  

 

Although I fully support the idea of having fully-vaccinated ships (and indicated that in the Viking survey two weeks ago), I think it’s going to be a big challenge for the entire tourism industry to implement a verification system.  A challenge that will take time.

 

Jerry

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I'm sure  all cruise lines will weigh the risk.  They will start when ports are open and they feel they can manage the risk.  If they wait until the risk is 0% they won't be around.  Everyone is going to have to judge  on your own what risk you are willing to take.  I just had coffee with a  university AD and he said that the university almost have to have a football season with fans this year.  The 35,000 fans in the stands fund all other sports.  If they go another year without football many sport will be cut.  So many sports and businesses are going to have to weigh the risk over what you have to lose.

 

If they do a Viking Homeland cruise I sure don't want to sit in my room and not go an excursion.   For myself ( and my SIL that just got vaccinated) we will follow the rules and do what we can to protect ourselves, but sitting in the cabin is not an option.

 

Let's face it for the next 2 or 3 years the odds are great that the virus will come on a ship.  I think the key is how they handle it.  Getting everyone vaccinated is the best defense you can do.  But still we know it will come on board at some point.  I'm hoping that the cruise industry will not be the whipping boy that it was a year ago.  I think the industry will do the best they can.  They sure don't want to be shut down another year.

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7 minutes ago, MarkTapley said:

there doesn’t seem to be anyone keeping track of who has been vaccinated.  Our only “documentation” is the CDC card with handwritten entries for both shots.  It doesn’t even have any kind of semi-official stamp, like on our yellow fever cards.  

We’ve thought about this a lot.  We had to go to another state to get the vaccine because our state kept moving the goal posts of who was eligible. Our state does have a registration system and keeps track,  but our records are in Colorado.  We have the CDC card, and texts confirming our appointments, and even a photo of the vaccine clinic, but none of that seems very official.  I was thinking Viking might soon be adding section to our personal information on MVJ about vaccinations, but not yet.

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13 minutes ago, SantaFe1 said:

We’ve thought about this a lot.  We had to go to another state to get the vaccine because our state kept moving the goal posts of who was eligible. Our state does have a registration system and keeps track,  but our records are in Colorado.  We have the CDC card, and texts confirming our appointments, and even a photo of the vaccine clinic, but none of that seems very official.  I was thinking Viking might soon be adding section to our personal information on MVJ about vaccinations, but not yet.

Do any of the past vaccination cards look very official?  I was looking at mine from the 1970's.  Not much different than the one I got for Covid?

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28 minutes ago, MarkTapley said:

A factor in Viking’s hesitance to require only fully vaccinated guests (and crew) on their ships may be the daunting task of how to verify the person actually has been vaccinated.  It is a topic getting a lot of attention in the press, and may be resolved before too long as leading travel companies are working on plans.

 

 

This is a very valid point, as I believe that no matter what verification system is developed, at least some will be able to develop a workaround. Therefore, even with the best and most secure digital records (recognising privacy regs), when vaccinations are mandatory, the chance of getting 100% of the passengers vaccinated is remote. 

 

I also factor into the equation the average passenger demographic on each cruise line and while I have no substantiating data, I'll suggest the percentage of Viking pax trying to circumvent the system would be less than say Carnival, NCL, etc.

 

If/when Viking mandate vaccinations, I'll suggest that a very high percentage of the pax will have had the shots and will submit genuine documentation. The percentage of vaccinated pax will be higher than if vaccinations aren't mandatory. I consider the percentage of vaccinated passengers similar to the risk percentage - you can never economically and operationally get the risk to 0% and I don't believe you will always get 100% vaccinations. However, the more that are vaccinated, the less chance you have of a cruise disruption.

 

We experienced almost 4-months on Viking Sun, during COVID, where we didn't have a single infection, but lots of rumours about infections, so we were denied entry into ports. Result - the cruise was severly curtailed, with 40 days at sea. The Costa or MSC ship on the WC in 2020 had a similar experience. On the Princess & HAL ships with COVID, the experience was even worse. Although Viking managed the situation extremely well and the onboard experience was magnificent, we have no desire for a repeat.

 

Data in Canada & UK, and I believe also in the US proves that vaccines are reducing infection rates. Therefore, the more people that are vaccinated the less risk of experiencing the cruises of last year.

 

To get back to cruising, the entire industry has to get the initial cruises right, proving they can do it safely with no COVID cases. If they experience infections in the initial cruises, the industry may be shut down again for another prolonged period.

 

How many cruise lines can survive another 9 to 12 month shutdown?

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5 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

 

This is a very valid point, as I believe that no matter what verification system is developed, at least some will be able to develop a workaround. Therefore, even with the best and most secure digital records (recognising privacy regs), when vaccinations are mandatory, the chance of getting 100% of the passengers vaccinated is remote. 

 

I also factor into the equation the average passenger demographic on each cruise line and while I have no substantiating data, I'll suggest the percentage of Viking pax trying to circumvent the system would be less than say Carnival, NCL, etc.

 

If/when Viking mandate vaccinations, I'll suggest that a very high percentage of the pax will have had the shots and will submit genuine documentation. The percentage of vaccinated pax will be higher than if vaccinations aren't mandatory. I consider the percentage of vaccinated passengers similar to the risk percentage - you can never economically and operationally get the risk to 0% and I don't believe you will always get 100% vaccinations. However, the more that are vaccinated, the less chance you have of a cruise disruption.

 

We experienced almost 4-months on Viking Sun, during COVID, where we didn't have a single infection, but lots of rumours about infections, so we were denied entry into ports. Result - the cruise was severly curtailed, with 40 days at sea. The Costa or MSC ship on the WC in 2020 had a similar experience. On the Princess & HAL ships with COVID, the experience was even worse. Although Viking managed the situation extremely well and the onboard experience was magnificent, we have no desire for a repeat.

 

Data in Canada & UK, and I believe also in the US proves that vaccines are reducing infection rates. Therefore, the more people that are vaccinated the less risk of experiencing the cruises of last year.

 

To get back to cruising, the entire industry has to get the initial cruises right, proving they can do it safely with no COVID cases. If they experience infections in the initial cruises, the industry may be shut down again for another prolonged period.

 

How many cruise lines can survive another 9 to 12 month shutdown?

How many countries and businesses will survive another 12 months?  I think you can only print so much money..... I maybe wrong there.

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13 minutes ago, Porcupine 52 said:

How many countries and businesses will survive another 12 months?  I think you can only print so much money..... I maybe wrong there.

 

So true, all the more reason for Viking to get it right from day # 1.

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We have traveled out of the US recently and were required to present results of a negative PCR Covid test conducted not more than 72 hours of our flight.  The question is, if these tests can be required and monitored for validity why cannot Covid vaccinations be validated for the same purposes?  The notion of not requiring vaccinations because there is no system of validation seems weak.  

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Covid-19 Vaccination cards.  We also received a card when we got our 1st shot.  Our 2nd appointment was written on the back of the card.  When I went to my Dr's for a routine check up; the NP said,

"I see you had your first Moderna vaccine shot on  Jan XX, " Our vaccine information was automatically sent to our primary care physician.

We were on a "wait List" and had 20 minutes to get to the site after receiving a phone call. It seems like every county and every state has their own system to get people inoculated. in surrounding counties, you can only make an appointment for the 1st shot if you can make an appointment for the 2nd shot

Big problem.  You can only make appointments for 21 days or less from today.

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My concern is there are countries that will not be able to "read" all the electronic records.  I still think a paper record in your paper passport will be necessary in those places.  Belt and suspenders I guess.😎

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Jim Avery said:

My concern is there are countries that will not be able to "read" all the electronic records.  I still think a paper record in your paper passport will be necessary in those places.  Belt and suspenders I guess.😎

I agree but you will have to admit that No app or web site has EVER been hacked....Much more safe than an Old style paper passport....🤪

Edited by Porcupine 52
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2 minutes ago, Porcupine 52 said:

I agree but you will have to admit that No app or web site had EVER been hacked....Much more safe than an Old style paper passport....🤪

 

The concern for Jim and I is primarly that when a country mandates vaccines, the proof submitted must be acceptable. Digital records may have less probability of duplication than the paper records we have used since we went to sea.

 

Those that cruise to the Caribbean, Meddy, etc may be able to provide digital records, but since Jim and I generally complete longer cruises to less developed countries, where they may not have wireless technology to scan digital records, so paper records may be the only option. Yes, they are easier to forge/duplicate, but they could be the only option.

 

Cruising is a worldwide industry, so needs to accomodate all countries.

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Posted (edited)

Countries/immigration can read information on passport chips, could vaccine information not be added there?  Cruise lines could work on the basis if you are in the country you have been vaccinated.  If you are boarding in your home country you should have to go a special booth set up by the Border Force to check the read on your passport.  With a simple computer form you should be able to call up your passport number, add in your NHS ID number (I am talking UK) and that effectively gives consent for your vaccine  info to be added

Edited by uktog
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29 minutes ago, uktog said:

Countries/immigration can read information on passport chips, could vaccine information not be added there?  Cruise lines could work on the basis if you are in the country you have been vaccinated.  If you are boarding in your home country you should have to go a special booth set up by the Border Force to check the read on your passport.  With a simple computer form you should be able to call up your passport number, add in your NHS ID number (I am talking UK) and that effectively gives consent for your vaccine  info to be added

 

I agree that most, if not all countries have the ability to read the passports chips, but not all countries have the ability to read them on the ship. On many of the countries we visit, they still do a visual inspection onboard of the passport and any required international vaccination records.

 

When passport scanning is required, we have experienced everyone having to troop ashore to scan the passport. Even for 900 pax this can take a couple of hours before the ship is cleared.

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On 3/19/2021 at 8:09 AM, Mrs Miggins said:

stated that they were not requiring a vaccination - "to be fair to everyone".

Huh....well.....that presents an interesting choice for those wishing to sail with them in the near future. Perhaps also not "fair", but given the choice between a cruise line that requires proof of vaccination and one that doesn't, I know which one I'd go with - at least for the present. 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/18/2021 at 9:24 PM, DJVKN said:

including having guest who are vaccinated dine with other vaccinated guest and non vaccinated with non vaccinated.

Wow...could make for some great dinner conversation between tables...."were YOU?"...."wait, oh, you weren't"?...."so then are you in the wrong dining room"?...."or am I"?   I can see signs on the restrooms...."for vaccinated only" (and vice versa)...sort of a bizarre twist on mid-century segregation. 

Edited by OnTheJourney
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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

To get back to cruising, the entire industry has to get the initial cruises right, proving they can do it safely with no COVID cases. If they experience infections in the initial cruises, the industry may be shut down again for another prolonged period.

Agreed...I think that pretty well sums it up.  Wouldn't it still be best (certainly not from a financial standpoint) to just push all this off till the start of 2022?  By then,  you'll hopefully have a fairly high vaccination rate globally speaking, thus moving at least closer to 'herd immunity' (what a buzzword that has become), so much less to worry about than trying to come up with all sorts of scenarios that may or may not work, increasing the risk, as Andy indicated, of another shutdown of the entire industry for who knows how long. 

Edited by OnTheJourney
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45 minutes ago, OnTheJourney said:

Huh....well.....that presents an interesting choice for those wishing to sail with them in the near future. Perhaps also not "fair", but given the choice between a cruise line that requires proof of vaccination and one that doesn't, I know which one I'd go with - at least for the present. 

It was indeed a stupid line by the Viking rep (to be fair to everyone).  Sadly they didn't realize that choosing no vaccination requirements is NOT fair to everyone, only fair to the non-vaxers.  It reminds me too much of the line I hear too often in the U.S.:   there shouldn't be rules/restrictions on eating/travel/whatever because those who are afraid of COVID can just choose not to participate in whatever activity it is and let those who are not afraid live the lives of 2019.  It is getting old.

I agree with your choice at the present time.   Will just cross our fingers that Viking comes to their senses at some point.  Maybe they'd even offer at least one cruise that was vaccination required - it would probably sell out instantly!

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CC...good points. Despite the possible shenanigans likely to be involved in circumventing the proof of vaccination and/or the ship maybe not being able to easily account for everyone's records, I will not get on a ship if I know there is no proof of vaccination required. Like I said in a previous post - time to buy a camper, find quiet spots, and just enjoy the solitude. That's what my sister-in-law did, who is pinnacle level with RCL. She said they don't even miss cruising (and this is like after doing close to a hundred of them! and typically 4-5 a year). 

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47 minutes ago, OnTheJourney said:

Agreed...I think that pretty well sums it up.  Wouldn't it still be best (certainly not from a financial standpoint) to just push all this off till the start of 2022?  By then,  you'll hopefully have a fairly high vaccination rate globally speaking, thus moving at least closer to 'herd immunity' (what a buzzword that has become), so much less to worry about than trying to come up with all sorts of scenarios that may or may not work, increasing the risk, as Andy indicated, of another shutdown of the entire industry for who knows how long. 

 

To be fair to Viking, their choice of intial itineraries is definitely erring on the side of caution, with only UK residents being eligible. Even as a UK citizen and propoerty owner, I am not eligible to book.

 

Just read on the Beeb today that UK has now passed 50% of all adults with at least 1 dose and are completing over 700K per day. By May/June most, if not all, adults will be vaccinated. With most > 50's already vaccinated or having an appointment, the majority of potential Viking UK pax have already received at least 1 jab.

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I emailed Tellus and received a call an hour later. The conversation was 25 minutes. I acknowledged that Viking is in a no win situation and has to make a choice between which clients it will serve. While there is no guarantee of not getting COVID even if vaccinated given the variants, a vaccinated ship of crew and passengers greatly reduces  over-all risk. The customer service agent was polite and agreed. 
 

A couple of interesting points. I asked what percent of his calls were from those opposed to requiring vaccines, and he stated: none!  I told him the Viking Executives need to review studies of people opposing the vaccines and I believe they will find that the typical Viking passenger will get a vaccination.

 

I asked what is done with the information he receives and he said it is logged and shared with Executives. The conversation was pleasant but I was clear that how they respond will determine our future relationship with Viking.

Bob

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41 minutes ago, rbslos18 said:

I emailed Tellus and received a call an hour later. The conversation was 25 minutes. I acknowledged that Viking is in a no win situation and has to make a choice between which clients it will serve. While there is no guarantee of not getting COVID even if vaccinated given the variants, a vaccinated ship of crew and passengers greatly reduces  over-all risk. The customer service agent was polite and agreed. 
 

A couple of interesting points. I asked what percent of his calls were from those opposed to requiring vaccines, and he stated: none!  I told him the Viking Executives need to review studies of people opposing the vaccines and I believe they will find that the typical Viking passenger will get a vaccination.

 

I asked what is done with the information he receives and he said it is logged and shared with Executives. The conversation was pleasant but I was clear that how they respond will determine our future relationship with Viking.

Bob

Thank you so much for sharing, Bob.

Sounds like a very good conversation.  We are like you - how they respond will determine our future relationship as well.

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