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I’m guessing others of you have read the bulk email we received from Cruise Critic with information about restarting cruises and the CDC’s recommendation.  Because we are on one of the Bermuda cruises, we have kept up to date on all the possibilities, so nothing in the CDC’s list was a surprise to us.  The one thing that was a bit of a concern was….

"In the Caribbean, the list of CDC safe spots currently includes Anguilla, the Cayman Islands, Grenada, the British Virgin Islands and St. Kitts and Nevis. It does not include the Bahamas, Bermuda, Jamaica, St. Maarten or other announced destinations for startup cruises beginning next month.

Iceland and Greece, also initial embarkation destinations, are not on the list either."

 

I'm hoping that Bermuda and Iceland change soon to the "safe spots", otherwise I am a little concerned about the viability of those cruises. The June start date is not far off....

 

Also, I have to applaud Viking for being on top of the CDC's list.  I heard from day one when we found out about these cruises taking place, that Viking was working closely with the CDC to make them successful.  I believe their goal is to cooperate, and it sounds like not all the lines are wanting to be compliant.  

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3 minutes ago, Sunflower & The Scientist said:

I’m guessing others of you have read the bulk email we received from Cruise Critic with information about restarting cruises and the CDC’s recommendation.  Because we are on one of the Bermuda cruises, we have kept up to date on all the possibilities, so nothing in the CDC’s list was a surprise to us.  The one thing that was a bit of a concern was….

"In the Caribbean, the list of CDC safe spots currently includes Anguilla, the Cayman Islands, Grenada, the British Virgin Islands and St. Kitts and Nevis. It does not include the Bahamas, Bermuda, Jamaica, St. Maarten or other announced destinations for startup cruises beginning next month.

Iceland and Greece, also initial embarkation destinations, are not on the list either."

 

I'm hoping that Bermuda and Iceland change soon to the "safe spots", otherwise I am a little concerned about the viability of those cruises. The June start date is not far off....

 

Also, I have to applaud Viking for being on top of the CDC's list.  I heard from day one when we found out about these cruises taking place, that Viking was working closely with the CDC to make them successful.  I believe their goal is to cooperate, and it sounds like not all the lines are wanting to be compliant.  

I am confused.  The CDC does not need to approve Viking's Health & Safety guidelines and plan to sail to any of the countries in the current  Welcome Back cruise locations.  Now if Viking is showcasing these cruises to the CDC in an effort to be approved for sailing to/from US ports in the future, that makes sense and is good news.

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34 minutes ago, Sunflower & The Scientist said:

I’m guessing others of you have read the bulk email we received from Cruise Critic with information about restarting cruises and the CDC’s recommendation.  Because we are on one of the Bermuda cruises, we have kept up to date on all the possibilities, so nothing in the CDC’s list was a surprise to us.  The one thing that was a bit of a concern was….

"In the Caribbean, the list of CDC safe spots currently includes Anguilla, the Cayman Islands, Grenada, the British Virgin Islands and St. Kitts and Nevis. It does not include the Bahamas, Bermuda, Jamaica, St. Maarten or other announced destinations for startup cruises beginning next month.

Iceland and Greece, also initial embarkation destinations, are not on the list either."

 

 

I am also confused - as my understanding is that Viking and any other cruise lines, do not need CDC approval unless they choose to sail to US ports (and territories like Puerto Rico).  I have to believe that Viking is working hard with Bermuda, Iceland, and Malta to make those cruises viable for for Viking and the countries.

Otherwise - I can't believe they would commit so much time and resources into putting out Welcome Back itineraries that cannot be executed.

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While the Centers for Disease Control don't have any control over Viking's choices of destinations for its non-US cruises,  I would give consideration  to their views on (foreign) port city health issues.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, CCWineLover said:

I am also confused - as my understanding is that Viking and any other cruise lines, do not need CDC approval unless they choose to sail to US ports (and territories like Puerto Rico).  I have to believe that Viking is working hard with Bermuda, Iceland, and Malta to make those cruises viable for for Viking and the countries.

Otherwise - I can't believe they would commit so much time and resources into putting out Welcome Back itineraries that cannot be executed.

 

Affirmative, regardless of the pax nationalities, unless the ship enters US Territorial Waters, the United States CDC has no authority. Since the Welcome Back cruises are predominantly sailing in EU and UK/Territory waters, it is those standards that Viking must comply with.

 

Since the EU has had cruise ships operating successfully for many months, I'll suggest they have more relevant experience to dictate to cruise lines than does the US CDC.

 

While the Chairman recently noted CDC has high standards, on the subject of vaccinations, Viking are even at a higher standard. The US CDC only requires 95% of pax be vaccinated, which on some RCI ships could account for about 350 un-vaccinated pax.

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I do not mean in any to be critical of Viking. They are over the top as a first rate enterprise. Viking is not looking to appease or impress  the CDC. They are marketing to their US customers. We Viking customers can be assured of the very best best in mitigation of the COVID threat. Thank you Viking.

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I am not in any way an expert on this....I'm basically parroting back what I'm reading and hearing from a couple TA's who receive daily briefings.  I agree that it does not make sense that they are under any obligation to the CDC, but from what I am hearing, Viking is wanting to prove to the CDC that they are meeting all the CDC requirements.  I also agree that Viking is going above and beyond CDC requirements....which is very impressive.  Clearly, Viking is feverishly working with Bermuda as well as the other destinations.  My only concern is that the dates are getting very close, and it would be good to see these ports come into what the CDC (or whoever else is making these determinations) finds is a "safe" location.  I think it is entirely possible that in a month they can.  Just was a little concerned to see that statement in what Cruise Critic sent out.  

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And one thing I feel very confident in guaranteeing you is that next month it will all be different.  Maybe worse, maybe better, but for sure different. 🍸

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Does the CDC mention whether travelers returning from their designated “safe” spots will be treated any differently from those returning from “unsafe” spots? 

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, dwlmg said:

I do not mean in any to be critical of Viking. They are over the top as a first rate enterprise. Viking is not looking to appease or impress  the CDC. They are marketing to their US customers. We Viking customers can be assured of the very best best in mitigation of the COVID threat. Thank you Viking.

Hear hear. I agree. 

Edited by Myrtle Ave. Mayhem
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1 hour ago, Twitchly said:

Does the CDC mention whether travelers returning from their designated “safe” spots will be treated any differently from those returning from “unsafe” spots? 

This is what I'm waiting to hear about.  I think the answer now is no, but if it changes to vaccinated arrivals from 'safe' spots don't have to test before flying back to the US, well that will change a lot for me.

 

We're flying back from Bermuda in July and Iceland in August, and I don't relish the thought of an asymptomatic case or even a false positive sidelining us outside the country for a couple of weeks.  Of course Bermuda and Iceland would have to become safe spots as well.

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2 hours ago, Twitchly said:

Does the CDC mention whether travelers returning from their designated “safe” spots will be treated any differently from those returning from “unsafe” spots? 

While the CDC requirements for Restricted Voyages under the CSO does not mention this, I would suspect that CDC/CBP would deal with a person who visited an "unsafe" country on a cruise ship just the same as a person who visited it by air.  So, there could be additional quarantine requirements depending on the conditions in the country in question.

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I’m not sure why Bermuda is not included in the list of “safe” countries (no country is actually safe, just some are lower risk), since Bermuda is considerably further ahead in vaccinating its residents than the U.S.   And they have more stringent entry requirements than the U.S.  Their new cases/100,000 rate is about the same as the U.S.   By any objective standards, Bermuda is “safer” than the U.S.  

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It is not so much about the CDC ‘approving’ these countries, but whether or not those countries are willing to accept vaccinated visitors.  Many are not, even if they do have very low case counts (like Fiji).  

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Posted (edited)

JMHO.. I have hit the wall.  It has been 9 months now since I have had the shot.  Getting ready to get the booster shot next few weeks.... maybe...All of my family now have had the vaccine. I went to Maui in January and went through a test before we went.  Ended up getting a test went I got back.  Had a test 2 weeks ago. Will have another test ( with the Pfizer study group) when (if) we get back from Iceland.  I still wear a mask when I go to church or get around other people.  Both of my daughters schools have every one wear a mask.  I will continue to follow the rules.  But will not sit and home and be afraid at this point. I don't think it does a 70 year old guy to sit at home and be afraid.   I think Viking is doing every thing they can.  Hey if I get 2 weeks quarantine when (if)  we get back from Iceland even though I have the shot... getting tested - I guess that is OK.

 

I am done sitting at home and being afraid.  At what point will we move on?  Next year at this time..or 2023?   I will not  be  afraid of going ... why did I get the shots.?  We will have a good time and follow the rules!

Edited by Porcupine 52
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47 minutes ago, Porcupine 52 said:

JMHO.. I have hit the wall.  It has been 9 months now since I have had the shot.  Getting ready to get the booster shot next few weeks.... maybe...All of my family now have had the vaccine. I went to Maui in January and went through a test before we went.  Ended up getting a test went I got back.  Had a test 2 weeks ago. Will have another test ( with the Pfizer study group) when (if) we get back from Iceland.  I still wear a mask when I go to church or get around other people.  Both of my daughters schools have every one wear a mask.  I will continue to follow the rules.  But will not sit and home and be afraid at this point. I don't think it does a 70 year old guy to sit at home and be afraid.   I think Viking is doing every thing they can.  Hey if I get 2 weeks quarantine when (if)  we get back from Iceland even though I have the shot... getting tested - I guess that is OK.

 

I am done sitting at home and being afraid.  At what point will we move on?  Next year at this time..or 2023?   I will not  be  afraid of going ... why did I get the shots.?  We will have a good time and follow the rules!

 

You received the shot 9 months ago? Are you talking about the vaccine for Covid? Unless you know something I don't, there wasn't a vaccine available in August 2020.

 

BTW, life can't be too bad for you if you went to Maui in January.

 

See you in Iceland! My wife and I are doing a land trip there next month. It will be my third trip to Iceland, but the first during a pandemic.

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53 minutes ago, Porcupine 52 said:

SNIP

 

I am done sitting at home and being afraid.  At what point will we move on?  Next year at this time..or 2023?   I will not  be  afraid of going ... why did I get the shots.?  We will have a good time and follow the rules!

Thank you again for helping in the trials.

 

We can manage risk to some extent by avoiding higher risk exposures. None of Bermuda, Iceland, and Malta strike me as high risk situations.

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8 hours ago, amyr said:

This is what I'm waiting to hear about.  I think the answer now is no, but if it changes to vaccinated arrivals from 'safe' spots don't have to test before flying back to the US, well that will change a lot for me.

 

We're flying back from Bermuda in July and Iceland in August, and I don't relish the thought of an asymptomatic case or even a false positive sidelining us outside the country for a couple of weeks.  Of course Bermuda and Iceland would have to become safe spots as well.

Getting stuck at a foreign country because of a false positive or an asymptomatic is my biggest worry now. I know the chance is minimal. But still, it keeps me thinking it is too soon to do international travel now. 
 

We book Iceland July 31. Hopefully Iceland will be on the safe country list. 

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13 hours ago, DaveSJ711 said:

 

You received the shot 9 months ago? Are you talking about the vaccine for Covid? Unless you know something I don't, there wasn't a vaccine available in August 2020.

 

BTW, life can't be too bad for you if you went to Maui in January.

 

See you in Iceland! My wife and I are doing a land trip there next month. It will be my third trip to Iceland, but the first during a pandemic.

I got into the Pfizer vaccine study group in August last year.  We were unblinded in Jan. and I had the real shot.  

My wife had planned a trip to Maui before she passed away suddenly in July last year. The condo was paid for and no refund.  I decided if we ( some friends went with me) could get to Maui it would be better than losing the money.  The couple I went with had had the vaccine and we got tested 72 hours before going to Maui.  When I got back I had another appointment with the vaccine study group.  Tested and blood work.  When we were in Maui our friends wife brother died.....  Life is short.  

 

And I start in the pfizer booster study group in 2 weeks....

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Thank you for your participation in the study, you helped to make the vaccine avaliable to all of us! My husband is a retired Microbiologist, worked infectious diseases for close to 40 years, he said you should be very proud of your part in the process!  Also, he agrees with you, not sitting home, like you were are still careful, but intend to go to Iceland and have a wonderful time! Shouldn't have to wear masks if fully vaccinated, but at least we will to be able to travel. 

We are so sorry for the loss of your wife. Glad you went to Maui, there is comfort in the ocean and in the beauty of the island. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, may you have a wonderful trip! 

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Now that we are fully vaccinated I wish we were joining you lucky folks on one of these Welcome Back cruises. However, instead I have scheduled hip replacement surgery for June so that I will be able to enjoy our two scheduled cruises for 2022!

 

I hope this new cooperation with Malta for restarting cruises will result in that country's regular inclusion in Viking's cruise itineraries. That has been on my wish list for quite a while.

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21 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

While the CDC requirements for Restricted Voyages under the CSO does not mention this, I would suspect that CDC/CBP would deal with a person who visited an "unsafe" country on a cruise ship just the same as a person who visited it by air.  So, there could be additional quarantine requirements depending on the conditions in the country in question.

Hi Chief,

Not sure I am reading you correctly so pardon if this is a dumb question.  You are still active in the Maritime trades while Andy and I are "Ole Salts" goofing off.  So, back to your CDC info.  Are you saying that I will be treated differently returning to the US based on countries visited?  Would they have any Idea which countries I visited on our WC ending in Greenwich?  Or would we be treated as returning US citizens coming home from the UK and be under UK rules.  Can't imagine they know all the places I have been (and some cancelled as well) over a 4 month period then a week traveling England.🍺

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44 minutes ago, Jim Avery said:

Hi Chief,

Not sure I am reading you correctly so pardon if this is a dumb question.  You are still active in the Maritime trades while Andy and I are "Ole Salts" goofing off.  So, back to your CDC info.  Are you saying that I will be treated differently returning to the US based on countries visited?  Would they have any Idea which countries I visited on our WC ending in Greenwich?  Or would we be treated as returning US citizens coming home from the UK and be under UK rules.  Can't imagine they know all the places I have been (and some cancelled as well) over a 4 month period then a week traveling England.🍺

It's a guess on my part, but I would think that the CBP would be asking, especially given the time you were out of the country, which countries you had visited.  I can remember them asking me where I'd been if I was returning by air after 2-3 months at sea.  Haven't been foreign too much in the last decade, so don't deal with CBP all that much anymore.  I think that with the heightened awareness of the pandemic, they will always be asking where you've been.

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Posted (edited)

Could be.  Anyone's guess I think at this point.  We haven't been out of the country either since disembarking the WC January 4, 2020 in San Pedro.  Always a record somewhere if they go looking for you....

Edited by Jim Avery
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