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CDC denies cruise sector's request to lift US sailing restrictions


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5 hours ago, LGW59 said:

Well said BobJ!!  I want to cruise very badly, like most on CC.  CDC exists for a reason, to do the best they can with the information and facts they learn and are provided to them.  Cruise industry has had ONE FULL YEAR to at a minimum present a plan.  They have complained and complained we don't know what they want from us.  Present a darn plan at least as a starting point for review and discussion.  They did not and they own it.

You are completely wrong!  The next step in the process published by the CDC on Nov 1, 2021, was for the CDC to publish their specific technical guidelines for phase 2 of the CDC's framework.  The CDC has "slow walked" doing that step and most recently said it was under review by multiple agencies (this after nearly 5 months).  The cruise lines cannot offer up a plan until they know what the CDC expects in that plan.   

 

What is really interesting (and sad) is this week, during testimony before Congress, the new CDC Director (Dr. Rochelle Wolensky) professed ignorance that the CDC was the agency  that was preventing cruising.  At one point she mentioned that the Department of Transportation was the key agency (DOT has since denied this).   So we have a CDC Director who was not even aware of her agencies role regarding cruising (makes you wonder who is running things).  

 

Now, we have the Governor of Florida and the Mayor of Miami both threatening legal action against the Federal Government and the CDC.   Since the CDC has, so far, refused to provide any way for cruise lines to restart operations in the USA, and they have not responded to numerous requests for guidance, there is certainly the issue of Due Process, abuse of power, and other issues.  Perhaps now that Dr, Wolensky at least knows that it is her agency that is the problem, she will order her folks to work with the cruise lines instead of delay, delay, delay.  Some kind of fast compromise would be in everyone's best interests.  If this goes to the courts it might get real ugly and result in even more delays.  If the CDC had published specific reasonable instructions for the cruise lines there would not have been such a mess.  

 

Hank

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3 hours ago, Hlitner said:

You are completely wrong!  The next step in the process published by the CDC on Nov 1, 2021, was for the CDC to publish their specific technical guidelines for phase 2 of the CDC's framework.  The CDC has "slow walked" doing that step and most recently said it was under review by multiple agencies (this after nearly 5 months).  The cruise lines cannot offer up a plan until they know what the CDC expects in that plan.   

 

What is really interesting (and sad) is this week, during testimony before Congress, the new CDC Director (Dr. Rochelle Wolensky) professed ignorance that the CDC was the agency  that was preventing cruising.  At one point she mentioned that the Department of Transportation was the key agency (DOT has since denied this).   So we have a CDC Director who was not even aware of her agencies role regarding cruising (makes you wonder who is running things).  

 

Now, we have the Governor of Florida and the Mayor of Miami both threatening legal action against the Federal Government and the CDC.   Since the CDC has, so far, refused to provide any way for cruise lines to restart operations in the USA, and they have not responded to numerous requests for guidance, there is certainly the issue of Due Process, abuse of power, and other issues.  Perhaps now that Dr, Wolensky at least knows that it is her agency that is the problem, she will order her folks to work with the cruise lines instead of delay, delay, delay.  Some kind of fast compromise would be in everyone's best interests.  If this goes to the courts it might get real ugly and result in even more delays.  If the CDC had published specific reasonable instructions for the cruise lines there would not have been such a mess.  

 

Hank

However, having spent time on both sides of the fence in dealing with another regulatory authority.  When there is a lack of guidance there is nothing that prevent industry from filling the gap by submitting their own plan or proposal based upon their interpretation of what does exist.

 

So why have the cruise lines not done so?  If they were to present such a detailed plan the regulatory authority would have to respond to those proposals. 

 

 

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Not just Fla..... Alaska, Ca & many other  U.S. states and jurisdictions like Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands have a keen interest in seeing cruises resume safely from / to US ports! 

 

We do too;  and hope it is resolved by start of  2022, if not sooner!

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18 hours ago, nocl said:

 

Produced in a laboratory means not genetically modified.  That does not mean that could not have been a virus, collected in a lab for study or while in the lab run though a series of experiments designed to encourage natural mutation.

nocl- this is a key point that I was trying to make as well.  I think the subtle difference is well understood by the scientific community but not well understood by the general public.  Unless there is a smoking gun we will never really know.

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, TeeRick said:

nocl- this is a key point that I was trying to make as well.  I think the subtle difference is well understood by the scientific community but not well understood by the general public.  Unless there is a smoking gun we will never really know.

It seems to me that the lab spill theory holds as much credibility as the wet market theory.  The bats that the virus came from were hundreds of miles away from the wet market.  The lab was just a few miles away.  The virus coming from bats would require another animal to transmit it to humans.  As transmissible as the virus is I would expect to see a lot of infected animals.  Where are these infected animals in the wild?  Until they find the animal that was infected by bats and transmitted it to humans the lab spill has as much credibility as animal transmission.

 

The Chinese explanation that it came from frozen food shipped in is just laughable.  Perhaps if the Chinese had a bit of transparency this would have been resolved by now.  However it seems more like a cover up if you ask me.

 

Find the infected animals that transmitted it to humans if they exist and we will have a conclusion.

Edited by NMTraveller
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11 hours ago, Hlitner said:

You are completely wrong!  The next step in the process published by the CDC on Nov 1, 2021, was for the CDC to publish their specific technical guidelines for phase 2 of the CDC's framework.  The CDC has "slow walked" doing that step and most recently said it was under review by multiple agencies (this after nearly 5 months).  The cruise lines cannot offer up a plan until they know what the CDC expects in that plan.   

 

What is really interesting (and sad) is this week, during testimony before Congress, the new CDC Director (Dr. Rochelle Wolensky) professed ignorance that the CDC was the agency  that was preventing cruising.  At one point she mentioned that the Department of Transportation was the key agency (DOT has since denied this).   So we have a CDC Director who was not even aware of her agencies role regarding cruising (makes you wonder who is running things).  

 

Now, we have the Governor of Florida and the Mayor of Miami both threatening legal action against the Federal Government and the CDC.   Since the CDC has, so far, refused to provide any way for cruise lines to restart operations in the USA, and they have not responded to numerous requests for guidance, there is certainly the issue of Due Process, abuse of power, and other issues.  Perhaps now that Dr, Wolensky at least knows that it is her agency that is the problem, she will order her folks to work with the cruise lines instead of delay, delay, delay.  Some kind of fast compromise would be in everyone's best interests.  If this goes to the courts it might get real ugly and result in even more delays.  If the CDC had published specific reasonable instructions for the cruise lines there would not have been such a mess.  

 

Hank

 

I'd suggest reading posts from resident expert @chengkp75. The cruise lines have unfortunately done themselves no favors. 

 

What haven't we heard? Any cruise line saying we've proposed 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 11.... different plans and paths forward and the CDC just won't budge or hear us out. We just hear 'still waiting and watching vaccines!' All along their plan has been to sit and wait it out. The US is sitting at approximately 85% who are not fully vaccinated and they know that isn't enough.

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14 hours ago, Hlitner said:

You are completely wrong!  The next step in the process published by the CDC on Nov 1, 2021, was for the CDC to publish their specific technical guidelines for phase 2 of the CDC's framework.  The CDC has "slow walked" doing that step and most recently said it was under review by multiple agencies (this after nearly 5 months).  The cruise lines cannot offer up a plan until they know what the CDC expects in that plan.   

 

What is really interesting (and sad) is this week, during testimony before Congress, the new CDC Director (Dr. Rochelle Wolensky) professed ignorance that the CDC was the agency  that was preventing cruising.  At one point she mentioned that the Department of Transportation was the key agency (DOT has since denied this).   So we have a CDC Director who was not even aware of her agencies role regarding cruising (makes you wonder who is running things).  

 

Now, we have the Governor of Florida and the Mayor of Miami both threatening legal action against the Federal Government and the CDC.   Since the CDC has, so far, refused to provide any way for cruise lines to restart operations in the USA, and they have not responded to numerous requests for guidance, there is certainly the issue of Due Process, abuse of power, and other issues.  Perhaps now that Dr, Wolensky at least knows that it is her agency that is the problem, she will order her folks to work with the cruise lines instead of delay, delay, delay.  Some kind of fast compromise would be in everyone's best interests.  If this goes to the courts it might get real ugly and result in even more delays.  If the CDC had published specific reasonable instructions for the cruise lines there would not have been such a mess.  

 

Hank

They have not helped themselves in any way by not at least submitting something, if only as a starting point to open communication.  The industry owns that.

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12 minutes ago, waltlin37 said:

I do not understand why other travel is allowed but not cruises!!! Could part of the problem be that most cruises leave from Florida a red state. 🙈

Good point, the same can be said for cruises that sail to/from Alaska and Texas. You can fly to Alaska and do a number of land tours, but no cruising!

 

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1 hour ago, terrydtx said:

Good point, the same can be said for cruises that sail to/from Alaska and Texas. You can fly to Alaska and do a number of land tours, but no cruising!

 

You can fly within the US but intl air travel is severely restricted.  Just this week transportation secretary Buttigieg was asked about allowing more intl air travel and he responded that primary focus of administration is winning race between vaccinations and variants.  So it's not just cruise lines that are being held back. 

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1 hour ago, waltlin37 said:

I do not understand why other travel is allowed but not cruises!!! Could part of the problem be that most cruises leave from Florida a red state. 🙈

 

1 hour ago, terrydtx said:

Good point, the same can be said for cruises that sail to/from Alaska and Texas. You can fly to Alaska and do a number of land tours, but no cruising!

 

 

And if this is the case, then how do you explain no cruising out of NY, NJ or California?? :classic_dry:

 

Really -- let's cool it with the conspiracy theories.

 

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12 hours ago, nocl said:

However, having spent time on both sides of the fence in dealing with another regulatory authority.  When there is a lack of guidance there is nothing that prevent industry from filling the gap by submitting their own plan or proposal based upon their interpretation of what does exist.

 

So why have the cruise lines not done so?  If they were to present such a detailed plan the regulatory authority would have to respond to those proposals. 

 

 

Why should the industry spend literally millions guessing what might be accepted by the CDC?

 

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8 minutes ago, cltnccruisers said:

Why should the industry spend literally millions guessing what might be accepted by the CDC?

 

How about they start with, our plan:  address embarkation and disembarkation procedures, changes to buffet, restaurant seating, service, supplies...air filtration system upgrades/changes (assuming they have been done), room cleaning, room service process.  Casino changes, when and where will masks be required.  The plan to vaccinate all crew not just officers but those in from other countries whom they rely on to provide on-board service to passengers-in front of and behind the scenes, room accommodations for the crew, how they will decide where and what cabins to assign to passengers.  No guess work there, just common sense.  Cruise lines and CLIA caused their own problems.  March 2020 is not really all that far behind us.

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22 minutes ago, LGW59 said:

How about they start with, our plan:  address embarkation and disembarkation procedures, changes to buffet, restaurant seating, service, supplies...air filtration system upgrades/changes (assuming they have been done), room cleaning, room service process.  Casino changes, when and where will masks be required.  The plan to vaccinate all crew not just officers but those in from other countries whom they rely on to provide on-board service to passengers-in front of and behind the scenes, room accommodations for the crew, how they will decide where and what cabins to assign to passengers.  No guess work there, just common sense.  Cruise lines and CLIA caused their own problems.  March 2020 is not really all that far behind us.

A lot of what you mention is already being done.  If you don't want to cruise anymore take a bus ride to Toronto.

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On 3/26/2021 at 12:39 PM, TeeRick said:

I am looking forward to the day (soon?) where we are not so much paying attention to positive Covid tests and the number of tests being done.  As the vaccinated become a higher percentage of the population, along with the very large number of previous infections, then positive COVID tests are much less meaningful.  Yes they still show the virus is out there.  The number of daily tests will trend down (already doing this).  The media (and us as well) have been absolutely conditioned to look at positive test numbers for now over a year.  We need to transition our thinking to the lagging indicators of hospitalizations and deaths.  These are the indicators of vaccine effectiveness, not positive tests alone.

Agree. Hospitalizations have definitely slowed. Harder to tell with deaths because numbers get revised, sometimes with older data. 

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2 minutes ago, cltnccruisers said:

A lot of what you mention is already being done.  If you don't want to cruise anymore take a bus ride to Toronto.

Busses to Toronto aren't permitted!

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2 minutes ago, cltnccruisers said:

A lot of what you mention is already being done.  If you don't want to cruise anymore take a bus ride to Toronto.

Non essential travel to Canada is not allowed... unless one thinks that tourism is an essential part of life.

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4 minutes ago, Quo Vadis? said:

Non essential travel to Canada is not allowed... unless one thinks that tourism is an essential part of life.

It was a bit of a joke - but I guess humor has been canceled.  

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On 3/24/2021 at 3:37 PM, cruiserchuck said:

I am not disappointed that they are looking out for public health instead of worrying about the financial condition of cruise lines or people's cruise vacation plans.

450,000 people in the US rely on cruiselines for their living...it is not just a vacation situation...neither is flying

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30 minutes ago, LGW59 said:

How about they start with, our plan:  address embarkation and disembarkation procedures, changes to buffet, restaurant seating, service, supplies...air filtration system upgrades/changes (assuming they have been done), room cleaning, room service process.  Casino changes, when and where will masks be required.  The plan to vaccinate all crew not just officers but those in from other countries whom they rely on to provide on-board service to passengers-in front of and behind the scenes, room accommodations for the crew, how they will decide where and what cabins to assign to passengers.  No guess work there, just common sense.  Cruise lines and CLIA caused their own problems.  March 2020 is not really all that far behind us.

It occurs to me that is exactly what they are doing, they are just doing test cruises out of foreign ports, rather than Miami, plus figured out a way to get cruisers to pay them for the privilege!

CDC has bigger things on their plate, plus the change in admins means they are just now getting organized on the upper administrative level. Cruising restart is going to have some inevitable glitches and some positive tests, if not actual illnesses, so I think it might be very smart to test those protocols and procedures more out of the news media eye, than would be the case from a US port.

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On 3/24/2021 at 4:27 PM, paulh84 said:

 

Phase 2 was supposed to cover cruise lines securing contracts and facilities to accommodate quarantine requirements, healthcare, transportation in case of an outbreak. Essentially a logistics plan to prevent a Princess situation from happening again. It's exactly the type of plan we haven't seen from Royal or Celebrity yet with their new sailings. 

And let's remember that the Diamond Princess situation a year ago was essentially the fault of the Japanese Government by forcing everyone to remain on board, therefore providing the environment for spread. They should allowed for removal under hazmat condition direct to a charter flight back to the US and immediate quarantine. Would have saved lives.

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On 3/24/2021 at 4:30 PM, wrk2cruise said:

But what would take CDC months to define the requirements for that.  I could see how it would take the Cruise Lines awhile to negotiate these things and respond.  But what I heard the CDC director say the Phase 2 requirements were still being reviewed and no time frame given.

 

Is there a document which outlines the phases and what's included in each?

Here's a better question: Why is the head of the CDC, a MEDICAL organization, a political appointee??

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6 hours ago, paulh84 said:

We just hear 'still waiting and watching vaccines!' All along their plan has been to sit and wait it out. The US is sitting at approximately 85% who are not fully vaccinated and they know that isn't enough.

 

I don't have the math, but you could almost pinpoint to the hour when the US will have 20%, 40%, or 60% vaccinated.  You know the rate, you know the participation, you just need the algorithm...which I'm sure already exists and the CDC has access to it.

 

 

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The problem with doing test cruises in another jurisdiction is that it only gives the CDC more reason to ignore anything presented without direct observation.  Why trust anyone who won't work directly with you? 

 

The cruise lines have not even completed the Phase 1 stuff that they were supposed to complete, so I don't understand this "we're waiting on the CDC to tell us what to do for Phase 2" talking point.  That is what is called a distraction.  The statements by Fain and others this last week were that they think the CDC plan of a phased approach to reopening is not needed.  In other words, they don't want to comply and are doing everything in their power to keep from complying.

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