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Apparently the CDC has issued some new recommendations and suggestions:

 

https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/24942-cdc-will-eliminate-cruise-ship-buffet-require-organized-shore-excursions.html

 

I can hardly wait for prepackaged meals on Crystal (think Prego in a box).  Might as well sail on Celebrity if that is where we are headed.  And it appears they like cruise line only excursions with a suggestion that they only be pursued in countries where they are at level one on the Covid scale.  As I recall something recently indicated that 80% of the world is at Covid level 4 according to the CDC.  With six foot spacing on deck chairs lots of folks may be taking the sun on their verandas if they cant go ashore!  My guess is that this will just continue to lead to more cruises embarking from non US ports to avoid CDC jurisdiction and control.  I am not sure how many ports on the upcoming Serenity and Symphony cruises are at Covid level one but I am guessing not all of them for sure.  Interesting times for sure.

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Posted (edited)

Are they really eliminating buffets on board or just the possibility of self service? 
Prepackaged meals are not something I would look for. I think sailing at a lower capacity could allow for more distance in restaurants. 

Ship excursions only, enforcing physical  distance on shore excursions seems to be the only way to reduce the risk of getting COVID ashore. It is necessary to properly monitor the local providers for that purpose. The cases of COVID on TUI cruises in Europe were due apparently to ship organized shore excursions by bus. Maybe more active excursions such as walking, biking, short drives by bus shall replace those long panoramic drives of several hours which are offered by all ports around the world. 
By the way, independently if the ships sail from USA, Europe, or ports elsewhere, this measures seem to make sense. 
Ivi

Edited by travelberlin
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Well the good news is for the next several months Crystal is not operating from the USA so this does not apply to them.

 

As to their recommendations.  Keep in mind this is for start up.

 

It's not a whole lot different than what many states did when they restarted businesses such as some states only allowing 25% capacity at first, social distancing, paper menus, paper salt/pepper, masks for everyone, etc., etc.

 

Better to error on being more cautious but at least restarting.  If things go right restrictions can be loosened.

 

Not for everyone but many will do it so they can cruise.

 

Some cruise lines are definitely going to restart this way as they have lots of ships and in the past regularly sailed the USA.   Of course other lines will pass on this until rules relaxed.

 

I personally think the worst case scenario is not being cautious, something very serious happens, and all of a sudden you turn on the news and there is a big COVID issue and this would be devastating for an industry already impacted badly.

 

Keith

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1 hour ago, Keith1010 said:

 

 

....

 

I personally think the worst case scenario is not being cautious, something very serious happens, and all of a sudden you turn on the news and there is a big COVID issue and this would be devastating for an industry already impacted badly.

 

Keith

I fully agree with this Keith. I hope that Crystal and Crystal passengers are very careful specially  in those cruises in the Bahamas and in St. John. It would be a terrible thing if Covid cases arise and the management of those cases is not convincing and reassuring for all stakeholders including us, passengers. 
I do hope that Crystal will be able to sail again from Miami by the end of this year.
Ivi

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Posted (edited)

OMG What a poorly written article.  You know that the skill in journalism and research is on a definite decline when you read trash as written there.

 

The CDC order released yesterday is for trial cruises.  Trial cruises include non vaccinated volunteer passengers. Non of the majors will be doing trials they have all committed to vaccinated crews and passengers. The CDC order order also allow cruise line to start cruising without a trial if they can certify a 98% crew and 95% passenger vaccinated rate and meet the other guidelines in the order.

 

Of course there will be self serve buffets, but who is to say that buffets have to be self serve. Oceania and Regent have always had ship staff served buffets with limited amount of self serve items like bread.  And when noro occured - those items became shipped serve. 

 

More inaccuracies -- CDC recommendation for vaccinated people is not 6 feet.  The order stated that vaccinated passengers should behave per the CDC recent recommendations.   Since all passengers will be vaccinated they can gather in small groups like a pool deck without face masks.

 

Choosing Safer Activities full PDF thumbnail

 

 

 

choosingSaferActivities.pdf

Edited by PaulMCO
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2 hours ago, PaulMCO said:

OMG What a poorly written article.  You know that the skill in journalism and research is on a definite decline when you read trash as written there.

 

The CDC order released yesterday is for trial cruises.  Trial cruises include non vaccinated volunteer passengers. Non of the majors will be doing trials they have all committed to vaccinated crews and passengers. The CDC order order also allow cruise line to start cruising without a trial if they can certify a 98% crew and 95% passenger vaccinated rate and meet the other guidelines in the order.

 

Of course there will be self serve buffets, but who is to say that buffets have to be self serve. Oceania and Regent have always had ship staff served buffets with limited amount of self serve items like bread.  And when noro occured - those items became shipped serve. 

 

More inaccuracies -- CDC recommendation for vaccinated people is not 6 feet.  The order stated that vaccinated passengers should behave per the CDC recent recommendations.   Since all passengers will be vaccinated they can gather in small groups like a pool deck without face masks.

 

Choosing Safer Activities full PDF thumbnail

 

 

 

choosingSaferActivities.pdf 110.63 kB · 2 downloads

So no children on cruise ships anymore?  I know they aren’t a big part of Crystal or Regent’s business model, but what happens to Disney, Carnival, etc? 

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22 minutes ago, sierrafloridacruiser said:

So no children on cruise ships anymore?  I know they aren’t a big part of Crystal or Regent’s business model, but what happens to Disney, Carnival, etc? 

Why anymore?

 

Hopefully in the USA the younger teens will be able to get vaccinated soon.  This opens the door to them.  Likely early next year those 2 and above will get the approval to vaccinate.

 

Keith

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Kwaj girl said:

I am getting SO tired of "safer" this and "safer" that....."distancing"...."bubbles"...JEEZ>

I just wish someone in government would have the guts to set a reasonable target for what is "safe enough" for a return to normal ....  e.g.  if the risk associated with Covid is brought to the level of the flu, can we finally get back to normal?  With no definition of what is "safe enough", bureaucrats will aim for zero risk - at any cost.

Edited by mnocket
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1 hour ago, mnocket said:

I just wish someone in government would have the guts to set a reasonable target for what is "safe enough" for a return to normal ....  e.g.  if the risk associated with Covid is brought to the level of the flu, can we finally get back to normal?  With no definition of what is "safe enough", bureaucrats will aim for zero risk - at any cost.

Read the CDC latest update. They say if all goes well we may look fairly normal by Kate sumner/early Fall.  Are there sone caveats?  Sure. You want a guarantee.  It would be BS. Nothing is 100 percent certain.  
 

keith

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The new "guidance" from the CDC is actually quite scary when you realize that it does in fact apply to cruises that are vaccinated. If you read through the laundry list of requirements, they are in fact so strict that spending the week in a hospital may actually be more fun.  For example, you cannot take your mask off while eating at a restaurant during a normal length meal.  The rule would imply that the meal would have to be eaten quickly (they even suggest being able to order food before you get to the table so that you can bypass any waiting) and the mask would need to be put back on in between bites and sips. This is truly taking things to another level.  The guidance also says masks need to be worn outside and on the pool deck. NCL's CEO has already come out and said the rules are not workable. Hopefully they will amend them but so far it is not looking food for a July re-start of cruise from the US. 

 

Feel free to read them all for yourself here: https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/cruise/covid19-operations-manual-cso.html

 

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2 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

Read the CDC latest update. They say if all goes well we may look fairly normal by Kate sumner/early Fall.  Are there sone caveats?  Sure. You want a guarantee.  It would be BS. Nothing is 100 percent certain.  
 

keith

I didn't ask for a guarantee - I asked for a target.  By target I don't mean a timeline, I mean criteria.  What are the criteria for returning to normal?  Everyone agrees that we shouldn't/can't wait for the risk to equal zero.

 

Bringing this to the topic of cruising......  The CDC has imposed restrictions on the industry in the name of reducing risk.  That's appropriate.  Being science-based, I expect they have models that evaluate the risk of cruising within the proposed guidelines.... and the risk if cruising were to resume unrestricted.  They have judged the risk associated with cruising within the guidelines as acceptable.

 

Here's the rub.  Do you know what these respective risks are?  Do you know what criteria they use to assess risk? And most important do you know, based on their criteria, what constitutes an acceptable risk?  I want to know, but I respect that others do not.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

Why anymore?

 

Hopefully in the USA the younger teens will be able to get vaccinated soon.  This opens the door to them.  Likely early next year those 2 and above will get the approval to vaccinate.

 

Keith

 

Keith, I envy your blasé attitude towards vaccinating young children with a vaccine approved through an EUA.  I am sure the >12 one will be granted, but it is based on trials with less than 1200 children. It most certainly doesn’t meet the EUA  statutory requirement of:

 

“Emergency Use Authorization in the US requires that an intervention address a serious or life-threatening condition, and for known and potential benefits of the intervention to be balanced against the known and potential harms.”  
 

The initial wave of immediate vaccinations in this age group will probably be close to 5 million kids - which is about a 25% uptake rate. We have the infrastructure and the supply to do this in a couple of weeks, which is unprecedented in history and will vastly overwhelm our ability to respond quickly to widespread adverse events. We’ve never attempted anything like this. So we all should be praying mightily. Enormous gamble. 

Edited by sierrafloridacruiser
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6 hours ago, mnocket said:

I didn't ask for a guarantee - I asked for a target.  By target I don't mean a timeline, I mean criteria.  What are the criteria for returning to normal?  Everyone agrees that we shouldn't/can't wait for the risk to equal zero.

 

Bringing this to the topic of cruising......  The CDC has imposed restrictions on the industry in the name of reducing risk.  That's appropriate.  Being science-based, I expect they have models that evaluate the risk of cruising within the proposed guidelines.... and the risk if cruising were to resume unrestricted.  They have judged the risk associated with cruising within the guidelines as acceptable.

 

Here's the rub.  Do you know what these respective risks are?  Do you know what criteria they use to assess risk? And most important do you know, based on their criteria, what constitutes an acceptable risk?  I want to know, but I respect that others do not.

This is about the CDC report I mentioned.

 

https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2021-05-05/cdc-report-predicts-sharp-decline-in-coronavirus-cases-by-july

 

The actual report is on the CDC website.

 

I know this doesn't answer all your questions.  I find the twice and sometime more often updates from the COVID-19 team to be very informative as often they answer those questions you ask.

 

Keith

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5 hours ago, sierrafloridacruiser said:

 

Keith, I envy your blasé attitude towards vaccinating young children with a vaccine approved through an EUA.  I am sure the >12 one will be granted, but it is based on trials with less than 1200 children. It most certainly doesn’t meet the EUA  statutory requirement of:

 

“Emergency Use Authorization in the US requires that an intervention address a serious or life-threatening condition, and for known and potential benefits of the intervention to be balanced against the known and potential harms.”  
 

The initial wave of immediate vaccinations in this age group will probably be close to 5 million kids - which is about a 25% uptake rate. We have the infrastructure and the supply to do this in a couple of weeks, which is unprecedented in history and will vastly overwhelm our ability to respond quickly to widespread adverse events. We’ve never attempted anything like this. So we all should be praying mightily. Enormous gamble. 

My views are not blasé.  I have young grandchildren so I take all this very seriously.

 

Yes I do have faith in our scientists and specifically on the CDC and the FDA to make the right decisions with safety and health at the forefront.  

 

I am very confident that they will be approving the next range of children in a few weeks based on the test results.

 

Yes for the adults we have gone with a shorter interval and with a smaller test group.  As the scientists point out the solutions for the vaccination have been in the works for many years.  They were not developed on the fly which is one of the main reasons why they have been able to roll out vaccines in a relatively quick amount of time.

 

The downside to this is we don't know specifically how long the vaccines will last because we don't have the history but the upside is they have been rolled out safely and millions of lives around the world will be saved because of them and many other people will not experience life long health issues.

 

The decision by the CDC and the FDA will be based on facts and no coercion to do something which is unsafe.

 

As to vaccines there is never (never, never, never) a guarantee that no one will have an adverse reaction but just like other things the upside of getting the vaccination is far greater than the risk of not being vaccinated and that will apply to both adults and to children as it does today with other vaccines.

 

Keith

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5 hours ago, sierrafloridacruiser said:

 

Keith, I envy your blasé attitude towards vaccinating young children with a vaccine approved through an EUA.  I am sure the >12 one will be granted, but it is based on trials with less than 1200 children. It most certainly doesn’t meet the EUA  statutory requirement of:

 

“Emergency Use Authorization in the US requires that an intervention address a serious or life-threatening condition, and for known and potential benefits of the intervention to be balanced against the known and potential harms.”  
 

The initial wave of immediate vaccinations in this age group will probably be close to 5 million kids - which is about a 25% uptake rate. We have the infrastructure and the supply to do this in a couple of weeks, which is unprecedented in history and will vastly overwhelm our ability to respond quickly to widespread adverse events. We’ve never attempted anything like this. So we all should be praying mightily. Enormous gamble. 


1,200 kids would just be phase 1— you still have two more phases before you can file an EUA.  Overall you’d get thousands of participants for each vaccine before an EUA is granted.  Pfizer is already studying 5,000 kids, Moderna is studying almost 7,000 kids and even Novavax is enrolling 3,000 kids.

 

Vince

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40 minutes ago, BWIVince said:


1,200 kids would just be phase 1— you still have two more phases before you can file an EUA.  Overall you’d get thousands of participants for each vaccine before an EUA is granted.  Pfizer is already studying 5,000 kids, Moderna is studying almost 7,000 kids and even Novavax is enrolling 3,000 kids.

 

Vince

The Pfizer EUA to expand the age to >12, which is expected to be approved next week, is based on the phase 3 trial data involving the vaccination of  1,129 12-15 year olds.
 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, sierrafloridacruiser said:

The Pfizer EUA to expand the age to >12, which is expected to be approved next week, is based on the phase 3 trial data involving the vaccination of  1,129 12-15 year olds.
 

 

 

 


I was referring to the study of younger children…. The 12-15 year old approval is also using the data from the original trials in adults though, they’re segmenting the teenagers as a profile that reacted the same way to the vaccine as older adults did in the study.  They used similar populations at other ages too. I get your point, but given the larger population in the study and the less significant differences between teenagers and adults with other vaccines, no doctors I’ve heard interviewed had any substantiated concerns about passing this to the EUA phase.  

 

I don’t disagree with your point that there could potentially be an age-specific risk with the vaccine, but not releasing it to a larger population for testing when it clears trials is a vicious cycle.  If there is some kind of problem out there lurking that is so rare it didn’t show in the broad phase 3 trials (of ANY of the age groups studied), we’re never going to find a trend UNTIL we get it to emergency use…. Just like the case of J&J.

 

IIRC, the Pfizer vaccine is already approved in Canada for 12-15 based on the same data.

 

Vince

Edited by BWIVince
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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, BWIVince said:


I was referring to the study of younger children…. The 12-15 year old approval is also using the data from the original trials in adults though, they’re segmenting the teenagers as a profile that reacted the same way to the vaccine as older adults did in the study.  They used similar populations at other ages too. I get your point, but given the larger population in the study and the less significant differences between teenagers and adults with other vaccines, no doctors I’ve heard interviewed had any substantiated concerns about passing this to the EUA phase.  

 

I don’t disagree with your point that there could potentially be an age-specific risk with the vaccine, but not releasing it to a larger population for testing when it clears trials is a vicious cycle.  If there is some kind of problem out there lurking that is so rare it didn’t show in the broad phase 3 trials (of ANY of the age groups studied), we’re never going to find a trend UNTIL we get it to emergency use…. Just like the case of J&J.

 

IIRC, the Pfizer vaccine is already approved in Canada for 12-15 based on the same data.

 

Vince

Yes, I believe it has been approved in Canada for that age group. However, unlike the US, they are still struggling to vaccinate their most vulnerable, which will mean they won’t be vaccinating this much younger population in huge numbers for quite some time. That won’t be the case in the US, where we have now have enormous supply and not nearly enough demand. According to polling, about 30% of parents say they will vaccinated their 12-16 year olds immediately, while the other 70% say they want to wait for more data, or not at all.  30% is still about 5 million kids. 
 

The main issue as we get further and further down the age groups is that COVID poses almost no health risks in those younger age groups. The trials haven’t even been able to test for a reduction in disease severity, like they have in adults, because too few kids get sick from having the virus. So the main purpose for approval and vaccinating large numbers of children seems to be to prevent them from spreading their infections to more vulnerable populations. But at the same time, vaccinated adults are being told we still can’t relax restrictions because we could still be asymptomatic carriers. I’m really struggling to understand that logic. 

Edited by sierrafloridacruiser
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Wanted to add, I believe it would be appropriate for the EUA to be approved for the small number of kids in this age group who ARE at higher risk for complications from COVID. It could be life saving for them. And this smaller group would add to our safety data, even as the vaccine makers continue with their safety trials using normal protocols, rather than a blanket EUA. 

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45 minutes ago, sierrafloridacruiser said:

Yes, I believe it has been approved in Canada for that age group. However, unlike the US, they are still struggling to vaccinate their most vulnerable, which will mean they won’t be vaccinating this much younger population in huge numbers for quite some time. That won’t be the case in the US, where we have now have enormous supply and not nearly enough demand. According to polling, about 30% of parents say they will vaccinated their 12-16 year olds immediately, while the other 70% say they want to wait for more data, or not at all.  30% is still about 5 million kids. 
 

The main issue as we get further and further down the age groups is that COVID poses almost no health risks in those younger age groups. The trials haven’t even been able to test for a reduction in disease severity, like they have in adults, because too few kids get sick from having the virus. So the main purpose for approval and vaccinating large numbers of children seems to be to prevent them from spreading their infections to more vulnerable populations. But at the same time, vaccinated adults are being told we still can’t relax restrictions because we could still be asymptomatic carriers. I’m really struggling to understand that logic. 


The issue with kids isn’t that they themselves get sick to the same degree of fatality, it’s that they spread the virus the exact same way adults do.  While that’s great that they have better outcomes, and I’m happy about that, the spread to higher risk people is still a huge issue.  One of my neighbors caught long-Covid from their son, which caught it at school, and the dad is suffering the consequences 6 months later.  Our local school system is doing a GREAT job of managing in-person learning overall, and has yet to have a major outbreak, but we’re averaging 3-6 minor outbreaks in schools county-wide on any given week.  That’s pretty good in the big picture, but that’s exactly why it’s important to get kids vaccinated when we determine the vaccine is safe for kids.  
 

There is no reason not to vaccinate teens here where I live at this point— their risk of spread is higher than younger kids, my region has the surplus vaccine availability now, and the trials show no unique risks.  Just my opinion, but I see no reason not to proceed to the next step and study the outcomes.

 

Vince

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5 minutes ago, sierrafloridacruiser said:

Wanted to add, I believe it would be appropriate for the EUA to be approved for the small number of kids in this age group who ARE at higher risk for complications from COVID. It could be life saving for them. And this smaller group would add to our safety data, even as the vaccine makers continue with their safety trials using normal protocols, rather than a blanket EUA. 


…and I want to add that I’m JUST talking about the expansion of 12-15 year olds.  I’m glad the younger kids are being reviewed separately and not as part of the “grown” studies like the teens are.

 

Vince

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How about if we 

1 hour ago, sierrafloridacruiser said:

Wanted to add, I believe it would be appropriate for the EUA to be approved for the small number of kids in this age group who ARE at higher risk for complications from COVID. It could be life saving for them. And this smaller group would add to our safety data, even as the vaccine makers continue with their safety trials using normal protocols, rather than a blanket EUA. 

I believe it would be appropriate to let the scientists and the experts to their job.  No need for second guessing them IMHO.  So far they have not let us down.  They know what needs to be done and as a result have put safety at the forefront while moving rapidly.  The two can be done hand in hand.  If we had years on our side we could have larger and longer tests but we do not have the leisure.

 

As Vince noted children can spread the virus.  Also there is no way to predict with 100% certainty who are the most vulnerable in that age group and for that matter within most age groups other than in some instances.  The virus strikes in different ways.

 

Anyway, I believe in letting the experts do their work and in following the advice of the experts.

 

When the FDA/CDC recommended the new shingles vaccine we got it.  When they recommended we start taking the flu vaccine we did just that.  When they recommended we get a DPT booster based on being around our first grandchild we did just that.  And when they recommended when our children should be vaccinated we followed what they recommended precisely.  And the same went for the COVID-19.  

 

When the situation came up with J&J, they quickly halted rollout to make sure they could study the data and understand whether or not there was an issue.  

When there was talk about going with one vaccination rather than two of Pfizer and Moderna they evaluated this and thankfully said stay the course go with two and by the way this was one of the smartest  decisions they made.

 

My view is simple.  Let them do their work and follow their recommendations.

 

They have been very transparent providing a wealth of information for us to digest.

 

Keith

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2 hours ago, BWIVince said:


The issue with kids isn’t that they themselves get sick to the same degree of fatality, it’s that they spread the virus the exact same way adults do.  While that’s great that they have better outcomes, and I’m happy about that, the spread to higher risk people is still a huge issue.  One of my neighbors caught long-Covid from their son, which caught it at school, and the dad is suffering the consequences 6 months later.  Our local school system is doing a GREAT job of managing in-person learning overall, and has yet to have a major outbreak, but we’re averaging 3-6 minor outbreaks in schools county-wide on any given week.  That’s pretty good in the big picture, but that’s exactly why it’s important to get kids vaccinated when we determine the vaccine is safe for kids.  
 

There is no reason not to vaccinate teens here where I live at this point— their risk of spread is higher than younger kids, my region has the surplus vaccine availability now, and the trials show no unique risks.  Just my opinion, but I see no reason not to proceed to the next step and study the outcomes.

 

Vince

I’m sorry to hear about your neighbor.
 

But the issue of kids bringing home to adults, this EUA expansion is unlikely to Improve that from where we are currently with household transmission - every adult who wants a vaccine can already get one. Once they approve 12-15 year olds, the ones who will be getting it will be highly correlated with parents who have already gotten it. Those adults who have chosen not to vaccinate are almost certainly not likely to vaccinate their kids. 

 

I am praying that all goes well with this experiment. 
 

 

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