Jump to content

Royal Test Cruises From Miami Starting Soon


 Share

Recommended Posts

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave its first green light today for test cruises to Royal Caribbean Group. Royal will be able to conduct simulated cruises with volunteer passengers in late June to test out its COVID-19 protocols from PortMiami on Freedom of the Seas. Royal is the first company to have its port and local health agreements approved and move onto test cruises. Test cruises must carry at least 10% of the total passenger capacity permitted by the ports it will visit, made up by volunteer passengers 18 years old or older who agree to be tested for COVID-19 and have their test results recorded after the cruise. Volunteers who aren’t vaccinated must attest that they are not at high risk of severe COVID-19. Cruise companies will have to end a test cruise if 1.5% of COVID-19 cases are detected in passengers or 1% of COVID-19 cases are detected in crew.https://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/tourism-cruises/article251674538.html?ac_cid=DM457969&ac_bid=557618077

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, taxatty said:

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave its first green light today for test cruises to Royal Caribbean Group. Royal will be able to conduct simulated cruises with volunteer passengers in late June to test out its COVID-19 protocols from PortMiami on Freedom of the Seas. Royal is the first company to have its port and local health agreements approved and move onto test cruises. Test cruises must carry at least 10% of the total passenger capacity permitted by the ports it will visit, made up by volunteer passengers 18 years old or older who agree to be tested for COVID-19 and have their test results recorded after the cruise. Volunteers who aren’t vaccinated must attest that they are not at high risk of severe COVID-19. Cruise companies will have to end a test cruise if 1.5% of COVID-19 cases are detected in passengers or 1% of COVID-19 cases are detected in crew.https://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/tourism-cruises/article251674538.html?ac_cid=DM457969&ac_bid=557618077

 

I hope there will be a CC poster among the passengers, who can post a trip report.

 

- Joel

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, cl.klink said:

 

I hope there will be a CC poster among the passengers, who can post a trip report.

 

- Joel

 

It would be interesting, but I highly doubt these are the fun filled 'free' cruises people expect they will be. There will also be a very limited number of people on board. They only have to use 10% of the total capacity for the first restricted sailings. So if they sail the first two Edge cruises with 1,500 guests there only has to be 150 people on the simulated cruise. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Jeremiah1212 said:

 

It would be interesting, but I highly doubt these are the fun filled 'free' cruises people expect they will be. There will also be a very limited number of people on board. They only have to use 10% of the total capacity for the first restricted sailings. So if they sail the first two Edge cruises with 1,500 guests there only has to be 150 people on the simulated cruise. 

 

Agree.

 

- Joel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, ipeeinthepool said:

I'm ready to go and waiting for my call.

Maybe peeing in the pool could put you at the bottom of the list😂

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Jeremiah1212 said:

 

It would be interesting, but I highly doubt these are the fun filled 'free' cruises people expect they will be. There will also be a very limited number of people on board. They only have to use 10% of the total capacity for the first restricted sailings. So if they sail the first two Edge cruises with 1,500 guests there only has to be 150 people on the simulated cruise. 

 

That's ok, I can still fit it into my busy non-cruising schedule.  How bad can it be?  You're on the ocean and the crew is practicing making you happy.  As long as the drinks aren't simulated, Ill be fine.

  • Like 3
  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess even after 14 months I am not that eager to cruise that I go on a sailing to where I have no interest during tropical storm season with unvaccinated passengers.   And the possibility of "simulation" of quarantine, quick return to port of embarkation or cessation of all services.

 

Willing to wait another few months.   Although admittedly sailing with maybe 300 pax on a ship the size of Freedom OTS with lots of crew might be kinda cool. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Many consider this great news but not me.  So what are they actually testing that is relevant now?  Only 10% capacity.  No vaccinations required.  Testing protocols that will not be used on vaccinated cruises.  A high probability of turning back.  Black eye for the cruise industry.  Why do this?  Just sail with fully vaccinated ships for revenue and safety.  Cruises announced like St Maarten home port are much more relevant tests.  This is like the CDC testing flip phones for electromagnetic radiation when everybody has smart phones (well most everybody😀).   Did they test 100 guest hotels with 10 guests?  Or open theme parks with allowing only 50 guests?

Edited by TeeRick
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, TeeRick said:

Many consider this great news but not me.  So what are they actually testing that is relevant now?  Only 10% capacity.  No vaccinations required.  Testing protocols that will not be used on vaccinated cruises.  A high probability of turning back.  Black eye for the cruise industry.  Why do this?  Just sail with fully vaccinated ships for revenue and safety.  Cruises announced like St Maarten home port are much more relevant tests.  This is like the CDC testing flip phones for electromagnetic radiation when everybody has smart phones (well most everybody😀). 

Royal is going this route, not Celebrity. Royal has a higher percentage of families and they don’t think they’ll be able to meet the 95% vaccinated threshold due to children. Celebrity, on the other hand, WILL be going to 95% route therefore they don’t need to do test sailings. 
 

People see this as good news because it’s movement! The CDC is still actively working with cruise lines to get the industry going. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, AbbyCruiser45 said:

Royal is going this route, not Celebrity. Royal has a higher percentage of families and they don’t think they’ll be able to meet the 95% vaccinated threshold due to children. Celebrity, on the other hand, WILL be going to 95% route therefore they don’t need to do test sailings. 
 

People see this as good news because it’s movement! The CDC is still actively working with cruise lines to get the industry going. 

I know it is Royal C.  I am just expressing that the test was perhaps relevant a few months ago but not now.  How about a test with say 40-50% fully vaccinated passengers reflecting the real world (US) situation?  Maybe at 60% capacity?  Don't we (or CDC) want data from realistic tests?

Edited by TeeRick
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, TeeRick said:

I know it is Royal C.  I am just expressing that the test was perhaps relevant a few months ago but not now.  How about a test with say 40-50% fully vaccinated passengers reflecting the real world (US) situation?  Maybe at 60% capacity?  Don't we (or CDC) want data from realistic tests?

Yes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, TeeRick said:

I know it is Royal C.  I am just expressing that the test was perhaps relevant a few months ago but not now.  How about a test with say 40-50% fully vaccinated passengers reflecting the real world (US) situation?  Maybe at 60% capacity?  Don't we (or CDC) want data from realistic tests?

 

I understand where you are coming from but the technical instructions haven't been updated online since 5/14. We know there have been changes made since then that haven't been published yet so I'm not sure the current version we can see is still even in play. There could have been many changes to this. 

 

The purpose of these cruises really appears to focus more on the verification by the CDC that the protocols outlined have been put into place, not necessarily to try to introduce COVID on the ship and hope the cruise line follows the plan. The cruise lines have said they have a plan, now it's time to prove that plan is in place and they can follow through with it.

 

A simulated voyage must be designed and conducted insofar as practicable to test the efficacy of the cruise ship operator’s ability to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 on board a cruise ship. This includes observing the general components of a simulation and simulating the following shipboard activities:

  • At least one simulation must be conducted for each ship for which the cruise ship operator intends to commence restricted passenger voyages. The simulation(s) must occur prior to the cruise ship operator’s application for a COVID-19 Conditional Sailing Certificate under the CSO.
  • The cruise ship’s color-coding status must be Green or Orange at the time of the simulated voyage. If the cruise ship’s color-coding status is Yellow or Red, then the simulation must be postponed until such time as the ship’s status changes to Green or Orange. Cruise ship operators will not be required to submit a new request to conduct a simulated voyage in the event of postponement, but operators must notify CDC of the revised dates of the simulation.
  • If the cruise ship operator has entered into a Phase 2A agreement with the port or local health authority of more than one port and the cruise ship operator intends for the ship to dock at more than one U.S. port during restricted passenger voyages, then the simulated voyage(s) must include each U.S. port.
  • The cruise ship operator must maintain a list of all passengers, crew, port personnel, and other persons who participated in the simulated voyage. This list must be preserved and made available to CDC upon request at any time while the CSO remains in effect.
  • Simulated voyages must be between 2-7 days in length with a least one overnight stay[2] to test the efficacy of the cruise ship operator’s ability to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 onboard the cruise ship, including through embarkation, disembarkation, and post-disembarkation testing.
  • Activities conducted on voyages that occurred outside of U.S. waters during the period of the No Sail Order (NSO) and the CSO that were not conducted as part of a CDC-approved simulated voyage, do not count towards the activities that must be simulated on a simulated voyage. However, cruise ship operators may incorporate best practices and lessons learned from these voyages as part of the simulation and in the after-action report submitted to CDC.
  • The cruise ship operator must meet standards during the simulated voyage for hand hygiene, use of face masks, and social distancing for passengers and crew, as well as ship sanitation, as required by CDC technical instructions or orders.
  • The cruise ship operator must modify meal service and entertainment venues to facilitate social distancing during the simulated voyage.
  • The following activities must be simulated onboard each ship for which the cruise ship operator intends to commence restricted passenger voyages before applying for a COVID-19 Conditional Sailing Certificate. However, at the cruise ship operator’s discretion, these activities may be conducted as part of the same simulated voyage or as part of separate simulated voyages:
    • Embarkation and disembarkation procedures, as approved by U.S. port and local health authorities as part the cruise ship operator’s Phase 2A agreements, including procedures for terminal check-in.
    • Onboard activities, including seating and meal service at dining and entertainment venues.
    • Medical evacuation procedures.
    • Transfer of symptomatic passengers or crew, or those who test positive for SARS-CoV-2, from cabins to isolation rooms.
    • Onboard and shoreside isolation and quarantine, as per the terms of the cruise ship operator’s Phase 2A agreements, of at least 5% of all passengers and non-essential crew.
    • Recreational activities that the cruise ship operator intends to offer as part of any restricted passenger voyages, e.g., casinos, spa services, fitness classes, gymnasiums.
    • Private-island shore excursions if any are planned during restricted passenger voyages. The following measures must be observed on the private island:
      • Only one ship can port at the island at any one time.
      • A routine screening testing protocol must be implemented for island staff who are expected to interact with volunteer passengers or crew.
      • Mask use and social distancing must be observed on the island.
    • Port of call shore excursions if any are planned during restricted passenger voyages. The following measures must be observed on port of call shore excursions:
      • Self-guided or independent exploration by passengers during port stops must be prohibited.
      • Shore excursions must only include passengers and crew from the same ship.
      • Cruise ship operator must ensure all shore excursion tour companies facilitate social distancing, mask wearing, and other COVID-19 public health measures throughout the tour.
      • Cruise ship operators must have a protocol for managing persons with COVID-19 and close contacts at all foreign ports of call. At a minimum, the protocol must include the following:
        • Disembarkation and housing of persons with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 needing shore-based hospital care and their travel companion(s) for the duration of their isolation or quarantine period.
        • Commercial repatriation of U.S.-based persons with COVID-19 and close contacts only after meeting criteria to end isolation and quarantine per CDC guidance. For commercial repatriation of foreign-based persons with COVID-19 and close contacts, cruise ship operators must consult with all relevant public health authorities.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, ipeeinthepool said:

I'm ready to go and waiting for my call.

I nominate ipee to be our Cruise Critic Special Correspondent to bring us breaking news from the test cruise between sips of his cocktail.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, Jeremiah1212 said:
  • If the cruise ship operator has entered into a Phase 2A agreement with the port or local health authority of more than one port and the cruise ship operator intends for the ship to dock at more than one U.S. port during restricted passenger voyages, then the simulated voyage(s) must include each U.S. port.

Should be interesting to see how a test cruise would be handled if an applicable cruise line had to do simulated Alaska voyages out of Seattle this summer where they would also be stopping at 2-4 US ports along the way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, Jeremiah1212 said:

 

I understand where you are coming from but the technical instructions haven't been updated online since 5/14. We know there have been changes made since then that haven't been published yet so I'm not sure the current version we can see is still even in play. There could have been many changes to this. 

 

The purpose of these cruises really appears to focus more on the verification by the CDC that the protocols outlined have been put into place, not necessarily to try to introduce COVID on the ship and hope the cruise line follows the plan. The cruise lines have said they have a plan, now it's time to prove that plan is in place and they can follow through with it.

Jeremiah1212, I have read and understand the CDC correspondence on test cruises.  But they are way behind reality.  They are testing fully non-vaccinated passengers on a cruise ship.  This is an attempt to do a clinical trial on a cruise ship with non-realistic conditions.  We know cruise ships are incubators for the non-vaccinated.  No need to prove that again.  These non-vaccinated passengers might be at risk of becoming COVID positive or even have serious COVID and death.  Like any non-vaccinated situation.  So what happens if a non-vaccinated passenger is hospitalized and/or dies from a test cruise?   The entire industry suffers a set back?  They could test procedures, protocols, crew operations, etc. on at least 50% vaccinated ships.  And they could do the same on 95-100% vaccinated ships.  Why take the risk on fully unvaccinated ships?  What will this actually prove even if they come back safe?  Go to step B (maybe 20 % capacity unvaccinated)?  Increase capacity slowly over time until somebody gets sick?  In the clinic this is called a viral challenge study.  There is one going on in healthy adult volunteers in a controlled hospital environment in the UK.  Better design.

Edited by TeeRick
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Beba-Beba said:

I nominate ipee to be our Cruise Critic Special Correspondent to bring us breaking news from the test cruise between sips of his cocktail.

 

I'm ready  😀

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, TeeRick said:

I know it is Royal C.  I am just expressing that the test was perhaps relevant a few months ago but not now.  How about a test with say 40-50% fully vaccinated passengers reflecting the real world (US) situation?  Maybe at 60% capacity?  Don't we (or CDC) want data from realistic tests?

Come on Tee, you're dealing with the government. The instructions date back to the height of the pandemic.

I'm more concerned about Florida - does this mean the negotiations/plans to circumvent Florida's don't ask about vaccines law aren't going well?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, TeeRick said:

Many consider this great news but not me.  So what are they actually testing that is relevant now?  Only 10% capacity.  No vaccinations required.  Testing protocols that will not be used on vaccinated cruises.  A high probability of turning back.  Black eye for the cruise industry.  Why do this?  Just sail with fully vaccinated ships for revenue and safety.  Cruises announced like St Maarten home port are much more relevant tests.  This is like the CDC testing flip phones for electromagnetic radiation when everybody has smart phones (well most everybody😀).   Did they test 100 guest hotels with 10 guests?  Or open theme parks with allowing only 50 guests?

Because by doing the test cruises they will not have to require vaccinations.

 

I suspect that even though they are doing them to Alaska the cruise lines may move away from requiring vaccination as soon as they can.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, cangelmd said:

Come on Tee, you're dealing with the government. The instructions date back to the height of the pandemic.

I'm more concerned about Florida - does this mean the negotiations/plans to circumvent Florida's don't ask about vaccines law aren't going well?

No way to circumvent FL law unless a court invalidates it (and the appeal process has run its coure). Cruise lines are doing this (in part) so they can depart out of Miami, Port Everglades, and Port Canaveral. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, ChutChut said:

No way to circumvent FL law unless a court invalidates it (and the appeal process has run its coure). Cruise lines are doing this (in part) so they can depart out of Miami, Port Everglades, and Port Canaveral. 

The NCL CEO and the Celebrity Marketing VP have both said not to worry about the Florida regulation.  Both are confident a solution will be developed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, ChutChut said:

No way to circumvent FL law unless a court invalidates it (and the appeal process has run its coure). Cruise lines are doing this (in part) so they can depart out of Miami, Port Everglades, and Port Canaveral. 

 

Just wait and see

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, ChutChut said:

No way to circumvent FL law unless a court invalidates it (and the appeal process has run its coure). Cruise lines are doing this (in part) so they can depart out of Miami, Port Everglades, and Port Canaveral. 

So, just curious, does this mean cruise lines will no longer be able to sail from a Florida port to cruise up the Amazon River since proof a yellow fever vaccine is required by Brazil for every passenger unless they have a medical excuse?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, nocl said:

Because by doing the test cruises they will not have to require vaccinations.

 

I suspect that even though they are doing them to Alaska the cruise lines may move away from requiring vaccination as soon as they can.

Yes I am in agreement with you there.  Cruise lines will quickly get back to normal schedules and itineraries from US ports once the CDC gate is open.  Vaccinations will likely be "nice to have" but I think they will back away from hard requirements within a year perhaps.  I guess it depends on the variant/booster situation.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, cangelmd said:

Come on Tee, you're dealing with the government. The instructions date back to the height of the pandemic.

I'm more concerned about Florida - does this mean the negotiations/plans to circumvent Florida's don't ask about vaccines law aren't going well?

Yes I know I ranted a bit about actually having a truly realistic and valid test cruises if we need to have them at all.  Just slap me on the back of the head to wake me up.😀

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Thank You for 25 Years - Click for Fun Stuff!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...