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Cruises Restarting for Vaccinated Only, Will You Go...?


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13 hours ago, NantahalaCruiser said:

Unfortunately, the Devil is in the details.  If your hypothetical question had also included the hypothetical that all ports would be open, that masks would no longer be required, that cruises would not be prematurely terminated regardless of the number of new cases on board, etc.; then I could have said yes to your hypothetical.

Well, since the hypothetical did NOT include your list of conditions, why didn't you just answer "no"?

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15 hours ago, Fouremco said:

Almost. Being vaccinated and surrounded by others who are vaccinated AND WEARING MASKS is probably as good as it gets. 😷

Sorry but I disagree with you here but I will explain my reasoning.  All of the current vaccines prevent moderate to severe COVID.  And prevent hospitalizations and deaths.  The post vaccine data in millions of people and in highly vaccinated countries like Israel support these data.  And there is no or very low virus shedding and no or very low transmission data in the fully vaccinated and this is starting to be confirmed.   So why would I need to wear a mask on board a fully vaccinated ship?  I understand masking off the ship and in ports.  No problem.  Even our US CDC is issuing new guidance on the need to not wear masks if with other fully vaccinated people indoors in small group settings.  That will be expanded as more are vaccinated.  So with SARS-COV-2 expected to be around for many years, do you expect to wear a mask for life?  Or will being vaccinated and protected completely from severe morbidity and mortality be enough to resume normal activities?  

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, TeeRick said:

So why would I need to wear a mask on board a fully vaccinated ship?  ...

So with SARS-COV-2 expected to be around for many years, do you expect to wear a mask for life?  


I understand your reasoning... and in general I concur! However, I would make a difference between short tem and long term.

We would have no problem whatsoever to wear a mask on board for the next future or the first sailings. We have done it on a covid-policy cruise, it was reasonable, doable and did not diminish our cruise feeling very much - I almost tend to say not at all.


I  do not see this as a forever thing though - at some point we will have to learn to live with the remaining risk - which will not disappear.

Edited by Miaminice
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11 minutes ago, TeeRick said:

Sorry but I disagree with you here but I will explain my reasoning.  All of the current vaccines prevent moderate to severe COVID.  And prevent hospitalizations and deaths.  The post vaccine data in millions of people and in highly vaccinated countries like Israel support these data.  And there is no or very low virus shedding and no or very low transmission data in the fully vaccinated and this is starting to be confirmed.   So why would I need to wear a mask on board a fully vaccinated ship?  I understand masking off the ship and in ports.  No problem.  Even our US CDC is issuing new guidance on the need to not wear masks if with other fully vaccinated people indoors in small group settings.  That will be expanded as more are vaccinated.  So with SARS-COV-2 expected to be around for many years, do you expect to wear a mask for life?  Or will being vaccinated and protected completely from severe morbidity and mortality be enough to resume normal activities?  

The thread and my post are based on a hypothetical cruise to sail 10 weeks from now, not at some point years down the road with SARS-COV-2 still hanging around.

 

As things currently stand, no vaccine is 100% effective, so there remains a small possibility that you will be infected even after full vaccination, albeit with a mild case. The trials have already confirmed this. And as you say, "there is no or very low virus shedding and no or very low transmission data in the fully vaccinated and this is starting to be confirmed." So it would appear that, based on information currently available, there remains a very remote possibility that a vaccinated person could contract the virus and transmit it to another vaccinated person. Very, very unlikely, but still within the realm of possibility as I understand it, and consequently my post.

 

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BTW:

Virgin Voages are the next to require vaccination for passengers:

 

Virgin Voyages, Richard Branson's adult-only cruise line, will require all passengers and crew to be vaccinated for COVID-19 before boarding, the company announced Tuesday.
Source: Among others USA Today

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1 hour ago, TeeRick said:

Sorry but I disagree with you here but I will explain my reasoning.  All of the current vaccines prevent moderate to severe COVID.  And prevent hospitalizations and deaths.  

Very true.

 

But IF there is an outbreak on a ship, minor or not, the cruise is going to be severely impacted.  Ports are not going to say, "gee, c'mon in.  We hear the 3 positive cases only have slightly elevated fevers and minor, intermittent coughing."  This is what makes cruising different than visiting indoors on land with those who have been vaccinated. 

I have first hand experience on how a cruise can be impacted (6 cancelled ports plus disembarkation port cancelled) when there was absolutely NO incidence of the virus onboard.  We sail for the itinerary, and the ports to be visited control the game.  And if they say any positive case and you aren't stopping here is the reason why IMHO, the initial (meaning 6-9 months at least) the cruise lines will mandate masks and social distancing. 

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32 minutes ago, ECCruise said:

Very true.

 

But IF there is an outbreak on a ship, minor or not, the cruise is going to be severely impacted.  Ports are not going to say, "gee, c'mon in.  We hear the 3 positive cases only have slightly elevated fevers and minor, intermittent coughing."  This is what makes cruising different than visiting indoors on land with those who have been vaccinated. 

I have first hand experience on how a cruise can be impacted (6 cancelled ports plus disembarkation port cancelled) when there was absolutely NO incidence of the virus onboard.  We sail for the itinerary, and the ports to be visited control the game.  And if they say any positive case and you aren't stopping here is the reason why IMHO, the initial (meaning 6-9 months at least) the cruise lines will mandate masks and social distancing. 

Your experience is from a year ago.  I think everyone has advanced in their knowledge of this disease.  Cruise lines will not be sailing cruises with foreign destinations until protocols are in place and agreements with destination ports on how to handle the virus if it does occur.  They do not want a repeat of another March 2020.  If the risk is deem too great to you, you do have the option of not going.  

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Yes, as long as we don't have to wear a mask all over the ship.   And the price and itinerary is right.   We ARE actually almost five weeks past our second vaccine.   I hate to live in a world where we have to "papers please" but I guess for awhile that's what it'll have to be.    Our next cruise isn't scheduled until June 2022 but if something great came up in the fall we might be tempted.   I just don't want to end up quarantined on a ship for a month in my cabin....

 

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3 minutes ago, deadzone1003 said:

Your experience is from a year ago.  I think everyone has advanced in their knowledge of this disease.  Cruise lines will not be sailing cruises with foreign destinations until protocols are in place and agreements with destination ports on how to handle the virus if it does occur.  They do not want a repeat of another March 2020.  If the risk is deem too great to you, you do have the option of not going.  

OK.  If you think that a port, pre-arranged or not, will allow a ship to disembark COVID positive passengers then you have a great deal more faith than I. 

I am booked on a sailing in July that visits NINE countries in 12 days.  No way the cruise line has made provisions for protocols with all of those jurisdictions re: disembarking pax, potential hospitalizations, etc.

 

Don't understand the "risk" and "option of not going."  Pretty sure I am aware of that. 

 

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1 hour ago, ECCruise said:

OK.  If you think that a port, pre-arranged or not, will allow a ship to disembark COVID positive passengers then you have a great deal more faith than I. 

I am booked on a sailing in July that visits NINE countries in 12 days.  No way the cruise line has made provisions for protocols with all of those jurisdictions re: disembarking pax, potential hospitalizations, etc.

 

Don't understand the "risk" and "option of not going."  Pretty sure I am aware of that. 

 

Vaccines are not 100% efficacious.  So even at 95%,  a few people on board a fully-vaccinated ship might test virus-positive.  But it is highly unlikely that they will be severely ill.  In fact those positives cannot be avoided.  It will happen.  The world will need to eventually adapt to this fact and live with it.  The total fear of the unknown virus from last March has to be replaced now with the concept of managing and controlling a highly studied respiratory virus going forward.   With highly effective vaccines.  And therapies.   Even if we need a booster every year.

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2 hours ago, CRUISER166 said:

Yes, if everyone on board is vaccinated.  I would also like the cruise lines to employ servers in the buffets to keep unclean hands away from the food.

Long overdue. 

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16 minutes ago, TeeRick said:

Vaccines are not 100% efficacious.  So even at 95%,  a few people on board a fully-vaccinated ship might test virus-positive.  But it is highly unlikely that they will be severely ill.  In fact those positives cannot be avoided.  It will happen.  The world will need to eventually adapt to this fact and live with it.  The total fear of the unknown virus from last March has to be replaced now with the concept of managing and controlling a highly studied respiratory virus going forward.   With highly effective vaccines.  And therapies.   Even if we need a booster every year.

I completely agree.   But that is not the point I am making.   My point was (and is) that if there are COVID positive pax onboard, seriously ill or not, your cruise is going to be affected.  The level of their illness has nothing to do with whether or not a particular port is going to allow passengers to visit.  I am quite certain that a ship with 1 or 100 positive cases will not be docking in a port where the level of vaccination may be low. 

 

And I think the world is going to take time to, as you say, "adapt to the fact and live with it."  It is not going to happen just because we wish it to be so.

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22 hours ago, yorky said:

They are still not sure if when vaccinated you could still carry the virus and of course being vaccinated is not 100% protection, more like 85% so I guess in theory with a ship with the average age of Celebrity cruisers there are still risks, it’s just reduced.

Hello, "yorky."

Your basic position is correct, but it can be misleading to refer to just one number ("more like 85%").

 

Allegedly, the following are the % of effectiveness for the best-known vaccines that are approved in some places:

 

PFIZER ... 95%

MODERNA ... 94.1%

J & J ... 85%

ASTRAZENECA ... 82.4, if second dose is delayed twelve weeks

(The above are subject to correction.)

 

Stated in other words ...

Even Pfizer's vaccine (which we are in the midst of getting) leaves one out of every twenty people -- including the "compromised" elderly -- in danger of becoming infected.  

 

So ... Suppose a cruise has 1,000 guests.  Based on the Pfizer percentage, there would be a potential for 50 of them to become infected during (or just before) a cruise.  Maybe fewer than 50 would get infected, due to the precautions that will be taken.  Then, of those 50, a certain portion may be asymptomatic, a portion may have slight symptoms, and a small portion may have serious symptoms (or worse).

 

But suppose you have 1,000 guests that have had the J & J shot (which we "would not touch with a ten-foot pole").  Now you are looking at a potential for 150 people to become infected, with a much greater likelihood of problems for Celebrity, etc..

 

The cruise lines, the CDC, and international health authorities may decide to take some risks ... but maybe what needs to be done is to delay all travel until 2022 or later -- allowing this specific corona virus to become "extinct," just as the 1918-1920 "Spanish flu" virus died out, after having killed an estimated 50,000,000 people.

.

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6 hours ago, TeeRick said:

Sorry but I disagree with you here but I will explain my reasoning.  All of the current vaccines prevent moderate to severe COVID.  And prevent hospitalizations and deaths.  The post vaccine data in millions of people and in highly vaccinated countries like Israel support these data.  And there is no or very low virus shedding and no or very low transmission data in the fully vaccinated and this is starting to be confirmed.   So why would I need to wear a mask on board a fully vaccinated ship?  I understand masking off the ship and in ports.  No problem.  Even our US CDC is issuing new guidance on the need to not wear masks if with other fully vaccinated people indoors in small group settings.  That will be expanded as more are vaccinated.  So with SARS-COV-2 expected to be around for many years, do you expect to wear a mask for life?  Or will being vaccinated and protected completely from severe morbidity and mortality be enough to resume normal activities?  

The Israeli data indicates that deaths are reduced by 98-99%, not totally prevented.

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We will definitely not cruise in 2021, but have cruises booked for 2022 and are trying to remain hopeful (we're SO travel-starved).   However, the only way we'll do it is if all crew and pax are vaccinated (including us), we have full access to all ports and any excursions, and there no self-serve buffets.  We are comfortable with masks in close/crowded areas.  This is all a pipe dream, however, as we are in the province with the consistently highest positivity rate in Canada, and the variants have descended on our populated areas in schools, LTC homes, etc.  Our premier, in his infinite wisdom, just relaxed some restrictions a short time ago, but is reconsidering and pulling back now, thank goodness.  We have been successfully vaccinating (A-Z) those age 60+ in the "hot" areas and are efficiently booking future appointments for the rest of us.  Unfortunately, we have just heard that our Moderna shipment for next week is 70% short, so that will slow things down. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, TeeRick said:

Vaccines are not 100% efficacious.  So even at 95%,  a few people on board a fully-vaccinated ship might test virus-positive.  But it is highly unlikely that they will be severely ill.  In fact those positives cannot be avoided.  It will happen.  The world will need to eventually adapt to this fact and live with it.  The total fear of the unknown virus from last March has to be replaced now with the concept of managing and controlling a highly studied respiratory virus going forward.   With highly effective vaccines.  And therapies.   Even if we need a booster every year.

I’m not correcting you TeeRick or calling you out, because I think you know this already. I’m asking people to look at this a different way.

https://www.livescience.com/covid-19-vaccine-efficacy-explained.html

 

Efficacy refers to reduction in RISK, not the absolute number of vaccine failures. Over the period of the study (I’ll come back to that point) 1 in 2500 Pfizer vaccinated persons got Covid. 0 vaccinated persons over all the studies died or even needed O2 for their illness. Long haulers effects are unknown. That means that 1-2 persons on each sailing will have Covid - no not quite. Those numbers came from risk at the time of the study when lots of virus was circulating. Remember when there was speculation about how long it would take the studies to reach endpoint because virus circulation fell during August and September, then boom we had the post Labor Day spike and all of a sudden the studies were concluded? Some of the effective risk reduction will depend on the amount of virus in the community at the time of sailing. You get the R value below 1 long enough in a population, virus will stop transmitting. 
Second, and this will make more sense to people because of daily life experience. The article talks about MMR. Measles is the most transmissible virus we know, R of 10. We don’t know what Covid’s true R value is, but the highest guess I’ve see was 6-7. The efficacy of the M in MMR is only 2 percentage points higher than the Pfizer vaccine. When’s the last time you even considered that your 1 year old child would get measles from sitting in a restaurant? Never? Is it possible? Yes, I would be a little worried if I was in an area with a known measles outbreak or with a lot of known anti-vaxxers, or community that eschews vaccines, like certain religious sects, but basically, no I never even thought about it with my own kids or grandkids - because that is the point of herd immunity. But even without herd immunity, it takes a massive vaccine failure for a virus t be spread between vaccinated persons in a predominantly vaccinated population, like onboard a cruise ship where vaccines are required.

Now how long does the immunity last? We don’t know yet, but it’s holding so far and while no one in authority in public health is ready to say this, it seems to be holding against the variants at least well enough to make it until a booster is ready.

 

All food for thought and an attempt at clarification.

Edited by cangelmd
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11 minutes ago, cangelmd said:

I’m not correcting you TeeRick or calling you out, because I think you know this already. I’m asking people to look at this a different way.

https://www.livescience.com/covid-19-vaccine-efficacy-explained.html

 

Efficacy refers to reduction in RISK, not the absolute number of vaccine failures. Over the period of the study (I’ll come back to that point) 1 in 2500 Pfizer vaccinated persons got Covid. 0 vaccinated persons over all the studies died or even needed O2 for their illness. Long haulers effects are unknown. That means that 1-2 persons on each sailing will have Covid - no not quite. Those numbers came from risk at the time of the study when lots of virus was circulating. Remember when there was speculation about how long it would take the studies to reach endpoint because virus circulation fell during August and September, then boom we had the post Labor Day spike and all of a sudden the studies were concluded? Some of the effective risk reduction will depend on the amount of virus in the community at the time of sailing. You get the R value below 1 long enough in a population, virus will stop transmitting. 
Second, and this will make more sense to people because of daily life experience. The article talks about MMR. Measles is the most transmissible virus we know, R of 10. We don’t know what Covid’s true R value is, but the highest guess I’ve see was 6-7. The efficacy of the M in MMR is only 2 percentage points higher than the Pfizer vaccine. When’s the last time you even considered that your 1 year old child would get measles from sitting in a restaurant? Never? Is it possible? Yes, I would be a little worried if I was in an area with a known measles outbreak or with a lot of known anti-vaxxers, or community that eschews vaccines, like certain religious sects, but basically, no I never even thought about it with my own kids or grandkids - because that is the point of herd immunity. But even without herd immunity, it takes a massive vaccine failure for a virus t be spread between vaccinated persons in a predominantly vaccinated population, like onboard a cruise ship where vaccines are required.

Now how long does the immunity last? We don’t know yet, but it’s holding so far and while no one in authority in public health is ready to say this, it seems to be holding against the variants at least well enough to make it until a booster is ready.

 

All food for thought and an attempt at clarification.

Everything you said here is right on target.  But very hard to explain to people not familiar with vaccines and immunity.  I spoke often here about vaccine effectiveness in a population vs efficacy in clinical trials.  Many still get caught up in needing 100% protection from transmission of the virus.  If that is the standard for the world then we might as well hide in our homes for the remainder of our lives.  The current vaccines are remarkable and we need to trust that they will end the pandemic.  Everybody keeps getting caught up in the hypotheticals.  

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In my case, I KNOW I'm not cruising for over a year, so it's hard to be hypothetical. 

 

My concern is the intersection of science and, for lack of a better word, political. We've spent a year on exclusion and a fairly bizarre definition of cases. I don't know how various nations and jurisdictions are going to deal with the reality that with vaccination those metrics may not be applicable. Even the CDC is not recommending testing for asymptomatic vaccinees, but still refers to travel restrictions that could include testing. Until that's resolved, I think there's a real risk of defaulting to exclusion with a positive PCR, even in a vaccinated population. And that's going to be a difficult political decision.

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I would prefer to sail on a ship knowing everyone has been vaccinated. It will be hard to fully enjoy a cruise ship with the mask mandate.  Just received my first round of the Pfizer vaccine yesterday. This is to help curb the virus and get back to normal. I would like to think fellow cruisers have the same mindset. Unfortunately, I know that is not true.

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We're vaccinated and ready to cruise in November 2021.  We're hoping that the cruise lines do have strict guidelines (like proof of vaccination, etc.) so we don't have the get "the SWAB!!!  Hopefully, if other cruisers are vaccinated, we won't have to wear masks on board.

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We are both fully vaccinated (since Jan 8, 21) healthcare workers!  So ready for some time to relax in the sun.  We would gratefully hop on a ship of vaccinated people.  Hopefully the majority of people on on planned November 14 cruise will be vaccinated.  

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