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CDC Open to USA cruise return this Summer


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57 minutes ago, grandgeezer said:

3) How many people would fly to a foreign country, on a regular basis, just to cruise? The cruises

     from St. Maarten have been on sale for almost two weeks and none of those are sold out and

     they start in two months. There have been many people who have said anytime, any place, 

     where are they when it's put up or shut up time.

We tried to book a B2B2B out of San Marten on the Millennium, as did many other folks. But, when they came back and said no B2Bs would be allowed, we felt one 7 day cruise was not worth all the hassle to get a rt-PCR test and pay for R/T airfare. So we passed. If the "powers that be" would have allowed B2Bs, we would have been booked on 3 of their July cruises and I'll bet many of the San Maarten cruises would have been sold out by now. Instead, we're now waiting for a decision on our B2B2B on the Edge out of Ft Lauderdale in July. Hey, at least we're having fun booking cruises, even though we can't go on any yet. 🙃

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5 minutes ago, K.T.B. said:

 

Because the vaccines do not offer 100% protection for 100% of the people, masks should still be worn to protect those who might get infected.

Fine with that...have one on at the moment, have been fully vaccinated since January...happy to wear one on a ship if that's what is mandated.....  that would only make the 100% vaccinated ship EVEN safer......  

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40 minutes ago, MarkWiltonM said:

The issue that concerns me is that both the Biden administration and Florida's governor (a Democrat and a Republican) are against mandating that U.S. citizens show proof of vaccination (e.g., vaccine "passports"). As a federal agency, how can the CDC tell Norwegian and other cruise lines that if you ensure everyone on the ship is vaccinated you can move forward? It would put the CDC in a position that's contrary to that of federal and (some) state officials.

Just curious, but what is preventing NCL, Celebrity or any other cruise line from documenting in their required CDC Phase 2 preparatory plans that it will be mandatory for all passengers and crew to be vaccinated on at least their restricted Phase 4 cruises, hopefully to start in July? Seems like a no-brainer to me.

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45 minutes ago, MarkWiltonM said:

The issue that concerns me is that both the Biden administration and Florida's governor (a Democrat and a Republican) are against mandating that U.S. citizens show proof of vaccination (e.g., vaccine "passports"). As a federal agency, how can the CDC tell Norwegian and other cruise lines that if you ensure everyone on the ship is vaccinated you can move forward? It would put the CDC in a position that's contrary to that of federal and (some) state officials.

As a private company a cruise company can add requirements for any cruise regardless of what a state or federal official says with out some law passed by a proper jurisdiction. Just like some cruise lines like, Viking Ocean, do not allow minors under 18 sailing no matter what. No state or Federal official can stop of supersede  this requirement. Here in Texas we no longer have a mask mandate but private businesses can make this a requirement of entering their store and doing business, already there are some challenging this only to lose.

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For the past year I've been firmly in the CDC's corner.  Recently however  I'm not so sure.  If it's safe for vaccinated people to resume normal use of other modes of travel (although with a mask), why continue to draw such a hard line with cruising?  Doesn't a company requirement that all passengers and crew be vaccinated obviate the need for test cruises?  And why the bureaucratic application process and 60 day wait?  With expanded medical facilities on board and the presence of Lilly and Regeneron antibody treatments even if a couple of cases occurred they shouldn't be serious.  So why not allow a couple of ships to re-start immediately and see what happens.     

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, NMTraveller said:

If the cruise ships home port in another country for the summer and perhaps the winter then the CDC loses its regulatory authority over these foreign home ported cruises.  They become irrelevant in the matter.  Then Americans cruise on the ships and come back.  It would seem to me that the best solution would be for both parties to come to an agreement vs having all of these foreign home ported cruises with laxxer regulations and zero CDC oversight.

Totally agree, NMT and I would hope that would be the case, Covid related rules and regulations should be just as important and as strictly enforced no matter the port. Future cruising resumption and success is totally dependent on every person, place and thing associated with the industry. Can't afford to have issues with non-compliant entities. At the same time, how much oversight and delay is too much. Need to start thinking seriously about a logical give and take attitude. Having trust in a mutual direction, destination and the best way to get there is key. 

Edited by Spif Barwunkel
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1 hour ago, Ken the cruiser said:

We tried to book a B2B2B out of San Marten on the Millennium, as did many other folks. But, when they came back and said no B2Bs would be allowed, we felt one 7 day cruise was not worth all the hassle to get a rt-PCR test and pay for R/T airfare. So we passed. If the "powers that be" would have allowed B2Bs, we would have been booked on 3 of their July cruises and I'll bet many of the San Maarten cruises would have been sold out by now. Instead, we're now waiting for a decision on our B2B2B on the Edge out of Ft Lauderdale in July. Hey, at least we're having fun booking cruises, even though we can't go on any yet. 🙃

Maybe I'm off today, but I thought the latest packages included airfare?

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1 hour ago, Ken the cruiser said:

We tried to book a B2B2B out of San Marten on the Millennium, as did many other folks. But, when they came back and said no B2Bs would be allowed, we felt one 7 day cruise was not worth all the hassle to get a rt-PCR test and pay for R/T airfare. So we passed. If the "powers that be" would have allowed B2Bs, we would have been booked on 3 of their July cruises and I'll bet many of the San Maarten cruises would have been sold out by now. Instead, we're now waiting for a decision on our B2B2B on the Edge out of Ft Lauderdale in July. Hey, at least we're having fun booking cruises, even though we can't go on any yet. 🙃

Since you mention a B2B2B, would they let you take the first cruise, spend a week on Saint Martin, and then take the third cruise?

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33 minutes ago, Baron Barracuda said:

For the past year I've been firmly in the CDC's corner.  Recently however  I'm not so sure.  If it's safe for vaccinated people to resume normal use of other modes of travel (although with a mask), why continue to draw such a hard line with cruising?  Doesn't a company requirement that all passengers and crew be vaccinated obviate the need for test cruises?  And why the bureaucratic application process and 60 day wait?  With expanded medical facilities on board and the presence of Lilly and Regeneron antibody treatments even if a couple of cases occurred they shouldn't be serious.  So why not allow a couple of ships to re-start immediately and see what happens.     

The CDC is actually showing recent signs of life and some movement in their positions.  I guess somebody recently informed them that effective vaccines had been actually developed.  And that at least 170 million doses had been administered in the US alone.  A bunch of the CDC brain trust were seen nodding their heads.  Or maybe nodding off.  😀

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2 hours ago, MarkWiltonM said:

The issue that concerns me is that both the Biden administration and Florida's governor (a Democrat and a Republican) are against mandating that U.S. citizens show proof of vaccination (e.g., vaccine "passports"). As a federal agency, how can the CDC tell Norwegian and other cruise lines that if you ensure everyone on the ship is vaccinated you can move forward? It would put the CDC in a position that's contrary to that of federal and (some) state officials.

 

I certainly would prefer to be on a ship where everyone has been vaccinated, and if I have to cruise on a ship with unvaccinated people it will probably delay my decision to cruise by a year or so. If cruise ships carry unvaccinated passengers or crew, there's obviously a much greater chance for an outbreak and possible quarantine, etc. And since the federal government is against a national electronic/digital vaccine verification system, cruise lines, even if allowed to sail with only vaccinated passengers and crew, will not be able to verify that everyone's  written/printed proof of vaccination is legitimate. It will essentially put things on the honor system, like when you use to have to fill out a form before boarding attesting that you don't have the flu, etc. I know the vast majority of people would not fake a vaccination record, but some passengers who can't or won't be vaccinated may do so in order to cruise, and some crew who can't or won't get vaccinated may also resort to counterfeit vaccination records because they need to work.

 

I just think the politics are going to make things difficult for the cruise lines to resume in the U.S. in the near future.

The CDC is not mandating vaccines for cruising and put out a statement to that effect over the last couple of days.  NCL has decided to mandate vaccines for their restart, just as other lines like Celebrity are doing (albeit Celebrity is vaccine for 16+).  It would actually help the cruise lines with the CDC if they do this, as others have suggested.  I suspect that is the way they will proceed at least for the near future.

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2 hours ago, terrydtx said:

As a private company a cruise company can add requirements for any cruise regardless of what a state or federal official says with out some law passed by a proper jurisdiction.

 

In Florida, Governor DeSantis's executive order states, "Businesses in Florida are prohibited from requiring patrons or customers to provide any documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination or post-transmission recovery to gain access to, entry upon, or service from the business." He is absolutely telling private businesses they can't require you to prove you have been vaccinated.

 

The major cruise lines all have offices in Florida. Are they "businesses in Florida"? When a cruise ship is docked at a Florida port, is that a "business in Florida" until it leaves the port?

 

Desantis has been eager to get cruise ships operating in Florida again. But his executive order seems to make that more difficult.

 

I live in Fort Lauderdale and can Uber over to Port Everglades. I don't want to have to leave the state to take a cruise.

 

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Posted (edited)
58 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

Since you mention a B2B2B, would they let you take the first cruise, spend a week on Saint Martin, and then take the third cruise?

I don't see why not; although we had no desire to do that so we didn't ask. However, on our booked Edge B2B2B in July, we may consider that option and book a 7 day Equinox cruise which would leave the day after our last Edge cruise, giving us our 21 days worth of summer cruising!

Edited by Ken the cruiser
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2 hours ago, K.T.B. said:

 

Because the vaccines do not offer 100% protection for 100% of the people, masks should still be worn to protect those who might get infected.

 

Car vehicles' Seat belts & air bags also do not offer 100% protection against 40,000+ annual deaths in the US, 3+ million injuries, & Billions of $$$ of damages.  Yet they allow us to use those awful death traps on a daily basis...?

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36 minutes ago, harkinmr said:

The CDC is not mandating vaccines for cruising and put out a statement to that effect over the last couple of days.  NCL has decided to mandate vaccines for their restart, just as other lines like Celebrity are doing (albeit Celebrity is vaccine for 16+).  It would actually help the cruise lines with the CDC if they do this, as others have suggested.  I suspect that is the way they will proceed at least for the near future.

I believe Celebrity is allowing negative PCR tests for unvaccinated children on the non US port startup cruises. Hopefully they drop that option for their restricted startup US port cruises.

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1 hour ago, Mike981 said:

Maybe I'm off today, but I thought the latest packages included airfare?

They weren't included when we tried to book our cruises on the first day and I don't believe they have been added since. But, I could be wrong.

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30 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

I don't see why not; although we had no desire to do that so we didn't ask. However, on our booked Edge B2B2B in July, we may consider that option and book a 7 day Equinox cruise which would leave the day after our last Edge cruise, giving us our 21 days worth of summer cruising!

I was careful to show a week outside the Celebrity group so you would look like a 'new' customer on the third cruise.  Not sure that they would allow you to get around the rules by jumping from one of their ships to another.

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Posted (edited)

Here's a Miami Herald article (21 hours ago) with a little more detail I thought was interesting, especially this line: 

 

Norwegian said it will require passengers to provide proof of a negative antigen test before boarding; the CDC said it will require companies to test all passengers and crew using PCR tests on embarkation and debarkation day.

 

CDC says passengers could be boarding cruise ships in US ports as soon as July (msn.com)

Edited by Ken the cruiser
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39 minutes ago, NavyCruiser said:

 

Car vehicles' Seat belts & air bags also do not offer 100% protection against 40,000+ annual deaths in the US, 3+ million injuries, & Billions of $$$ of damages.  Yet they allow us to use those awful death traps on a daily basis...?

For the vast majority a motor vehicle is a necessity, taking a cruise is not, it is a leisure activity, those of us that can do so, do not need to jump on the ship to get our groceries or take the kids to school etc.

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5 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

I was careful to show a week outside the Celebrity group so you would look like a 'new' customer on the third cruise.  Not sure that they would allow you to get around the rules by jumping from one of their ships to another.

We talked with our X PVP yesterday and he didn't think it would be an issue as we had an overnight stay between sailings in Ft Lauderdale. However, he thought it might be an issue if a negative PCR test is required to board the Equinox if Celebrity won't have the means to perform one while we're on our second leg on the Edge. However, that may be a moot issue if CDC gets their way and requires the cruise lines to perform a PCR test on all passengers embarking and disembarking the ship as mentioned in the above Miami Herald article.   

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2 hours ago, Mike981 said:

Maybe I'm off today, but I thought the latest packages included airfare?

Air is "included" at a DISCOUNTED rate.  One of the email flyers did make it sound like the air was included in the pricing but it is not.  The flights are $500 pp round trip economy from a gateway airport (Miami for example).  If you have to fly to Miami, there is an extra cost for that flight.  For flights to Athens, the air is $699 pp round trip economy - again from a gateway airport.  There are lots of gateway airports that Flights by Celebrity is offering.  If available, you can upgrade to premium economy, first or business.  We booked one of the St Maarten cruises and one of the Athens cruises AND air for each using Flights by Celebrity so I confirm that air is NOT included but the rates were lower than if we booked air ourselves.  Neither trip has transfers available (yet) from airport to ship or ship to airport.  They may or may no make those available. 

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7 hours ago, Baron Barracuda said:

For the past year I've been firmly in the CDC's corner.  Recently however  I'm not so sure.  If it's safe for vaccinated people to resume normal use of other modes of travel (although with a mask), why continue to draw such a hard line with cruising?  Doesn't a company requirement that all passengers and crew be vaccinated obviate the need for test cruises?  And why the bureaucratic application process and 60 day wait?  With expanded medical facilities on board and the presence of Lilly and Regeneron antibody treatments even if a couple of cases occurred they shouldn't be serious.  So why not allow a couple of ships to re-start immediately and see what happens.     

Maybe if the cruise lines were actually willing to submit such a plan to the CDC.

 

If you notice every public request is for CDC to drop the order, not to modify it.

 

It would not be difficult at all for a cruise line to put together the same operational plan that they are planning to use else where, including vaccination/testing, etc and submit that to the CDC requesting that it be considered as an alternative.  Yet they do not do it.

 

The primary difference in doing that would be that if they did they would be committed to implement and stick to that plan, face legal consequences if they do not properly implement the plan, and they would have to report both the plan and health data to the CDC (where the rules could potentially be made public).

 

Compare that to the wishy washy statements that the cruise lines are making.  If CDC ends the order instead of approving the plan under the order then the cruise lines could change what they are doing whenever they want.  As long as they can deal with the PR.  No oversight means it is totally up to the cruise line how something is implemented, when it changes (with or without advance notice to passengers), if they will allow exceptions, etc.

 

I would like to see a cruise line put together a good plan, in detail, and submit that to the CDC requesting to sail under the plan with CDC oversight, instead of just requesting that the CDC drop the order and to trust them that they will implement everything just fine.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Ken the cruiser said:

@noclor @TeeRickor anyone else that might actually know, is it even possible for a cruise ship's medical staff given the proper equipment able to process the type of PCR test the CDC is suggesting in the Miami Herald article I mentioned in post #42 above?

to say if they could process the type of test I would say yes. Some of the cruise line had committed to have the capability to do PCR on board in case of suspected cases on board.

 

The question in more how they would handle the volume if done at the pier. That would probably require a shore based lab and potentially combining samples to cut down on the number of runs.

 

By combining samples you take the samples from a number of different people combine them into one run. If the run come up negative then all are clear. if it is positive then you do the run in smaller groups until you find the individual (s).

 

It's how the Chinese was able to test very large numbers early on. Works if you have a lot of people but expect few if any to be positive.

Edited by nocl
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Posted (edited)

The Miami Herald article says the CDC will require cruise lines "to test all passengers and crew using PCR tests on embarkation and debarkation day." If a cruise ship has, for example, 2,000 passengers embarking and another 2,000 disembarking on a single day (plus crew), that's 4,000 blood tests that would have to be done in a 24-hour period. How many of the crew would be trained and qualified to extract blood from passengers' arms? And how long would it take? There's no way a cruise ship could jab that many arms in a single day, aside from the issue of having the equipment to analyze the tests. I'm sure that's why Del Rio is arguing that if everyone is vaccinated you don't have to do the testing.

Edited by MarkWiltonM
typo
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1 hour ago, MarkWiltonM said:

The Miami Herald article says the CDC will require cruise lines "to test all passengers and crew using PCR tests on embarkation and debarkation day." If a cruise ship has, for example, 2,000 passengers embarking and another 2,000 disembarking on a single day (plus crew), that's 4,000 blood tests that would have to be done in a 24-hour period. How many of the crew would be trained and qualified to extract blood from passengers' arms? And how long would it take? There's no way a cruise ship could jab that many arms in a single day, aside from the issue of having the equipment to analyze the tests. I'm sure that's why Del Rio is arguing that if everyone is vaccinated you don't have to do the testing.

Why would blood testing be needed?

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