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CDC Open to USA cruise return this Summer


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Posted (edited)

Some encouraging cruise re-start news hot off the CDC press:

 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2021/04/28/cdc-cruises-could-restart-july/4883450001/?csp=chromepush

 

"CDC will not require test cruises as long as crews and passengers are vaccinated"

 

Let's Do This!

 

Jonathan

Edited by cruiserking
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1 hour ago, cruiserking said:

Some encouraging cruise re-start news hot off the CDC press:

 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2021/04/28/cdc-cruises-could-restart-july/4883450001/?csp=chromepush

 

"CDC will not require test cruises as long as crews and passengers are vaccinated"

 

Let's Do This!

 

Jonathan

However the rest of the requirements of the CSO remain intact.  The cruise lines must still complete their port agreements, submit their protocols to the CDC for approval and submit the required documents signed by senior management before cruises start.

 

Lets see if the cruise lines actually start working on the port agreements.

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37 minutes ago, nocl said:

However the rest of the requirements of the CSO remain intact.  The cruise lines must still complete their port agreements, submit their protocols to the CDC for approval and submit the required documents signed by senior management before cruises start.

 

Lets see if the cruise lines actually start working on the port agreements.

That is true. But, it's refreshing to see the CDC is actually making some concessions and tweaking the CSO to make it more reasonable. 

 

Jonathan

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Lets focus on what a positive breakthrough this is.  This is the first sign that the CDC is actually willing to follow the science, and to work with the cruise industry to design safe but practicable guidelines.  And the CDC has said that mid-July is possible:  that's really news!

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The ability to skip test cruises and the 5 day vs 60 day review window is a major improvement.

 

Hopefully they can actually crew a ship or two to successfully start sooner than later. 

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Here's hoping that indeed the circumstances are such that cruising from U.S. ports can resume this summer.

 

A previous poster suggested that 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")"  Best I can tell, this very much misstates the Biden administration position.  It is true that the President and/or his spokespersons have indicated that there would be no federally mandated vaccination requirement and that the any development of a vaccine passport would be left to non-federal government entities.  There has not been, to my knowledge, any indication from the administration that it wouldn't be appropriate (and, expected, based on recent comments by Dr. Fauci) for businesses, local governments, etc. to require vaccinations.

 

This is a very different position than that stated by the Governor of Florida.

 

My guess is that vaccinations of all, or virtually all passengers and crew, will be mandated when U.S. cruises are resumed and that seems to me to be a reasonable requirement.  As far as masking, distancing, etc. on a fully vaccinated cruise ships, it will take time for the right policies to be developed and no doubt some folks in these forums will question whatever policies put into in place.

 

The truth is, I think, that we just don't know enough yet to really understand what needs to be done.  How long does the vaccine protection last?  Can vaccinated people get mild asymptomatic COVID infections that can be passed on to non-vaccinated persons?  What is the true rate of "break-through" infections.  How problematic will variants prove to be?

 

Until  time passes we just won't know.  So, the policy choices confronting the CDC and state and local public health agencies as they try to balance business and leisure activities against potential public health consequences are difficult at best.

 

One other thought about an earlier post that suggested it might be difficult to find crew after they had been home for over a year.  On the nine or ten cruises I have been on (all Celebrity) it has always been interesting to talk to crew about their homes and what led them to be where they were.  In every case, it was apparent that the benefits of working on a cruise ship (usually, but always income) exceeded anything they could do at home.  Although I have mixed feelings about it, I suspect that most will be anxious to return to their ships.    

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Really positive interview just now on CNBC with Richard Fain of RCCL.  Very upbeat about new guidance from CDC and optimistic that summer cruises from U.S. ports are likely.  Said he "was feeling no pain" this morning.😀

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15 minutes ago, jgmorgan said:

Really positive interview just now on CNBC with Richard Fain of RCCL.  Very upbeat about new guidance from CDC and optimistic that summer cruises from U.S. ports are likely.  Said he "was feeling no pain" this morning.😀

Would you by chance be able to provide a link to that interview or did you watch it on TV?

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12 hours ago, cruiserking said:

Some encouraging cruise re-start news hot off the CDC press:

 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2021/04/28/cdc-cruises-could-restart-july/4883450001/?csp=chromepush

 

"CDC will not require test cruises as long as crews and passengers are vaccinated"

 

Let's Do This!

 

Jonathan


And once again that puts us back to the question of what would the cruise lines be requiring for proof of passenger vaccination? Those cards can easily be forged (and already are). 
 

Crew vaccination appears to be a whole other complication what with the case numbers and low vaccination rates in places like India and the Philippines which supply large numbers of crew members.

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4 minutes ago, WonderMan3 said:


And once again that puts us back to the question of what would the cruise lines be requiring for proof of passenger vaccination? Those cards can easily be forged (and already are). 
 

Crew vaccination appears to be a whole other complication what with the case numbers and low vaccination rates in places like India and the Philippines which supply large numbers of crew members.

 

And this is where the CDC and the cruise lines must work together to figure that out.  One cannot leave it up to the other alone to "make it work".

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5 minutes ago, WonderMan3 said:

And once again that puts us back to the question of what would the cruise lines be requiring for proof of passenger vaccination? Those cards can easily be forged (and already are). 
 

And those cards are only available to US residents.

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1 minute ago, Fouremco said:

And those cards are only available to US residents.

True, but I suppose many other countries, especially those with national healthcare programs (e.g United Kingdom, Israel, Italy, etc.) will have "proof of vaccination" mechanisms.  No doubt there are a number of applications under development by tech companies in the U.S. as we speak.

 

The cruise lines have a very strong incentive to come up with workable plans to get crews vaccinated and figure out verification processes for passengers.   Absolute 100% compliance probably isn't necessary--think about USDA guidelines for reentry to the U.S. for international travelers.  Depending on basic honesty from travelers and the occasional baggage search seems to have worked reasonably well.

 

Assuming the vaccines continue to exhibit efficacy,  the greatest risk to passengers would be that those who lied about being vaccinated could be infected by others who lied about being vaccinated.  I have to believe that would be a small group.  And, given the apparent transmission characteristics of the COVID virus, exposure risks to residents of cruise destinations would probably not be a great deal higher than it would be without the cruise visitors.  Think about indoor/outdoor settings; duration of exposure, etc.

 

No matter.  Things are moving in the right direction finally.  Enjoy it.

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18 minutes ago, Fouremco said:

And those cards are only available to US residents.

If I may ask, when a Canadian gets vaccinated, how/where is that information recorded and can/do you subsequently get a copy for your records each time you get a shot? I would imagine this would be of great interest to those Canadians that want to sail on one of the start-up cruises in May-June ported out of a Caribbean, Greek or UK port let alone one they may go out of a US port in the July-August timeframe?

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1 minute ago, jgmorgan said:

True, but I suppose many other countries, especially those with national healthcare programs (e.g United Kingdom, Israel, Italy, etc.) will have "proof of vaccination" mechanisms.  No doubt there are a number of applications under development by tech companies in the U.S. as we speak.

 

The cruise lines have a very strong incentive to come up with workable plans to get crews vaccinated and figure out verification processes for passengers.   Absolute 100% compliance probably isn't necessary--think about USDA guidelines for reentry to the U.S. for international travelers.  Depending on basic honesty from travelers and the occasional baggage search seems to have worked reasonably well.

 

Assuming the vaccines continue to exhibit efficacy,  the greatest risk to passengers would be that those who lied about being vaccinated could be infected by others who lied about being vaccinated.  I have to believe that would be a small group.  And, given the apparent transmission characteristics of the COVID virus, exposure risks to residents of cruise destinations would probably not be a great deal higher than it would be without the cruise visitors.  Think about indoor/outdoor settings; duration of exposure, etc.

 

No matter.  Things are moving in the right direction finally.  Enjoy it.

My point is that the task of acquiring proof of vaccination isn't a simple one. While the CDC cards might work for US residents, different countries have different approaches, and the cruise lines have a challenge ahead of them. For example, each of Canada's 13 provinces and territories have approached the issue of documentation in a different manner. Moreover, in Ontario the documentation received when vaccinated through the provincial program is different than the documentation received from pharmacies. As they operate independently, I suspect that the pharmacy chains differ from one another as well. All told, there are at least 15 and probably more forms of documentation in Canada alone. Now, add to that the different documents from countries around the world and you have over 200 different ones in a multitude of formats and languages. When cruises are limited to residents of a single country, as has been the case with a number of the cruises currently operating, it's a relatively easy job. But when you are talking about cruises with an international passenger list, determining proof of vaccination becomes more of a challenge.

 

There are several initiatives underway in various locales to have vaccination information loaded into databases, but nothing of great significance to date. Certainly nothing that would be ready by July for mass identification of vaccinated passengers.

 

Yes, the CDC's announcement is very positive, but let's be realistic. People have been asking about the proof of vaccination issue for the last six months or more, and we have yet to see Celebrity make any comment on how they plan to determine proof. With Sint Maarten cruises starting up in just over a month, we've seen nothing on the website and, as far as I know, none of the passengers booked for one of these cruise has received anything from Celebrity telling them what proof they need. 

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1 hour ago, WonderMan3 said:


And once again that puts us back to the question of what would the cruise lines be requiring for proof of passenger vaccination? Those cards can easily be forged (and already are). 
 

 

Tell all passengers you'll be scanning their vaccination card. Don't specify anything else.

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26 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

If I may ask, when a Canadian gets vaccinated, how/where is that information recorded and can/do you subsequently get a copy for your records each time you get a shot? I would imagine this would be of great interest to those Canadians that want to sail on one of the start-up cruises in May-June ported out of a Caribbean, Greek or UK port let alone one they may go out of a US port in the July-August timeframe?

Ken, each of the 13 provinces and territories operate independently, so I can only talk about my experience in Ontario. When I received my first shot, I was sent an email with a pdf attachment that had all of the relevant information. I wasn't offered a printed copy at the vaccination site, and I don't know what happens for people who have no email account.

 

I've done some cursory research to see if this information is accessible from the province's COVID vaccination database(s), but I've found nothing as yet. If a fellow Ontarian reading this knows how to access it, please share!

 

The majority of Canadians who have been vaccinated have received only their first shot. With the 4-month delay between shots, few will be eligible for one of the early start-up cruises. I was one of the first people in the 70+ age group in Ottawa to get my initial shot, but my second isn't scheduled until the end of July. Adding the couple of weeks for it to become effective and we're talking about mid-August. Assuming, of course, that there are no more serious vaccine delivery delays.

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8 minutes ago, Fouremco said:

Ken, each of the 13 provinces and territories operate independently, so I can only talk about my experience in Ontario. When I received my first shot, I was sent an email with a pdf attachment that had all of the relevant information. I wasn't offered a printed copy at the vaccination site, and I don't know what happens for people who have no email account.

 

I've done some cursory research to see if this information is accessible from the province's COVID vaccination database(s), but I've found nothing as yet. If a fellow Ontarian reading this knows how to access it, please share!

 

The majority of Canadians who have been vaccinated have received only their first shot. With the 4-month delay between shots, few will be eligible for one of the early start-up cruises. I was one of the first people in the 70+ age group in Ottawa to get my initial shot, but my second isn't scheduled until the end of July. Adding the couple of weeks for it to become effective and we're talking about mid-August. Assuming, of course, that there are no more serious vaccine delivery delays.

We were given a printed copy but it was exactly same information as the PDF file.

We hopefully get our 2nd shot the middle of July but who knows whether or not we will get anything then.

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3 minutes ago, Fouremco said:

Ken, each of the 13 provinces and territories operate independently, so I can only talk about my experience in Ontario. When I received my first shot, I was sent an email with a pdf attachment that had all of the relevant information. I wasn't offered a printed copy at the vaccination site, and I don't know what happens for people who have no email account.

 

I've done some cursory research to see if this information is accessible from the province's COVID vaccination database(s), but I've found nothing as yet. If a fellow Ontarian reading this knows how to access it, please share!

 

The majority of Canadians who have been vaccinated have received only their first shot. With the 4-month delay between shots, few will be eligible for one of the early start-up cruises. I was one of the first people in the 70+ age group in Ottawa to get my initial shot, but my second isn't scheduled until the end of July. Adding the couple of weeks for it to become effective and we're talking about mid-August. Assuming, of course, that there are no more serious vaccine delivery delays.

Thanks for sharing that. Well, at least you have your pdf file, which I would compare to the CDC card we got. Hopefully once you get you second shot, the subsequent pdf file will have the recordings of both shots. If not, those 2 pdf files would be what I would submit when a cruise line requested proof since that's all you have until something better comes along. I mean, what else could you do?

 

As far as folks who don't have an email goes, I would imagine those few would probably be given some paper document when they got their shot(s). If not, I'm not sure right now how they would be able to show proof of vaccination to anyone, let alone a requiring cruise line.

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Posted (edited)
59 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

And poor Richard's hair is still out of control.

 

Interesting question posed to Richard about kids not eligible for vaccine yet.  He brushed it aside saying kids should be eligible soon, but if CDC will only allow ships to skip test cruises if 95% of passengers vaccinated that would imply no kids on board at re-start.

Edited by Baron Barracuda
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1 hour ago, WonderMan3 said:


And once again that puts us back to the question of what would the cruise lines be requiring for proof of passenger vaccination? Those cards can easily be forged (and already are). 
 

Crew vaccination appears to be a whole other complication what with the case numbers and low vaccination rates in places like India and the Philippines which supply large numbers of crew members.

Crew vaccination from places like the Philippines might be with one of the much less effective  vaccines from China for example.  Is that OK with Celebrity?  What are the standards?

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2 minutes ago, TeeRick said:

Crew vaccination from places like the Philippines might be with one of the much less effective  vaccines from China for example.  Is that OK with Celebrity?  What are the standards?


NCHL listed specific acceptable vaccines in their letter with instruction to crew that if they had received a different vaccine, they will need to wait for more information to see if the one they did get eventually becomes acceptable. I suspect Celebrity  would do the same. 

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