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DenaInWyo
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Has been discussed on several other boards. A little posturing by the CDC, just like Florida's Governor has been posturing. Both sides have been doing their share of bluffing...we will see in the end. I bet Alaska and Florida will sail.

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Alaska media is following this issue closely.  Our local newspaper, the Fairbanks News-Miner, has published articles, as have the Anchorage Daily News.  I haven't checked the Juneau Empire website, but am certain they are also following.

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4 hours ago, CruiserBruce said:

Has been discussed on several other boards. A little posturing by the CDC, just like Florida's Governor has been posturing. Both sides have been doing their share of bluffing...we will see in the end. I bet Alaska and Florida will sail.

 

I have no problem w sailing out of or to AK as that sate has behaved basically responsibly.  As far as I am concerned, all of the cruise lines should pull out of Florida just to teach DeSantis a lesson. There are lots of other states that would love to have their ships and would give them a good deal to move.

 

DON

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I had heard that the judge was supposed to make a ruling on June 10th --- hopefully, it happens and in favor of cruising to Alaska.

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Posted (edited)

Am I the only who thinks this whole thing is stupid?

 

And actually, DeSantis got what he wanted - cruising restarted. He basically held a gun to the CDC and they blinked.  (Am I mixing metaphors?)

 

Edited by abbydancer
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27 minutes ago, Vacationv said:

What’s going on is this- Desantis wants to run for President. Freightening.

Yup, and stuff like this causes his base (and that other guy in Florida's base) to send money.

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6 hours ago, NCteacherlovescruising said:

I have seen the posts about this, but haven't read any of them.  What's the basic version of what's going on?

 

 

I am probably not the best person to explain the issue but this is my understanding:  The Florida lawsuit essentially wants to throw out the conditional sailing order.  The CDC position is that when Congress passed the Alaska Tourism Recovery Act to allow limited Alaska itineraries later this summer Congress also essentially ratified the CSO.  The ATRA was based on the CSO being in place.  So if Florida prevails the limited 2021 season for Alaska cruises is essentially burned toast.  Hence why Alaska media is following the issue.

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18 minutes ago, Northern Aurora said:

 

 

I am probably not the best person to explain the issue but this is my understanding:  The Florida lawsuit essentially wants to throw out the conditional sailing order.  The CDC position is that when Congress passed the Alaska Tourism Recovery Act to allow limited Alaska itineraries later this summer Congress also essentially ratified the CSO.  The ATRA was based on the CSO being in place.  So if Florida prevails the limited 2021 season for Alaska cruises is essentially burned toast.  Hence why Alaska media is following the issue.

I guess I don’t understand what Florida has to do with Alaska cruises. 

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6 hours ago, NCteacherlovescruising said:

I have seen the posts about this, but haven't read any of them.  What's the basic version of what's going on?


DeSantis is following the GOP lead on handling COVID/Vaccination, so his position is businesses cannot require you to show proof of vaccination (ie a vaccine passport).  Which if you are for smaller government reach and for businesses being able to decide how to run their business, is an odd stance to take, but we'll let that pass.  So that's his position.

The CDC on the other hand has said that cruises need to have 95% of their passengers/crew vaccinated to sail, or they need to run trial voyages first to ensure passenger safety.  

So now if cruise ships want to sail from Florida, by Florida state law they aren't allowed to ask if passengers are vaccinated, so they can't get to the 95% vaccination rate, because they can't require/ask and verify.  This is leading some cruise lines to consider abandoning Florida to sailing out of other states, because they know a segment of their population won't sail without a vaccination requirement, and it's going to look bad if they have another Diamond Princess fiasco.  Other lines are doing the test runs in the attempt to keep Florida sailings and just trying to salvage as much as possible.  

So now everyone's just watching to see which one will cave (my money is on the cruise lines).



 

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2 minutes ago, PhotoGal07 said:




So now if cruise ships want to sail from Florida, by Florida state law they aren't allowed to ask if passengers are vaccinated, so they can't get to the 95% vaccination rate, because they can't require/ask and verify.  This is leading some cruise lines to consider abandoning Florida to sailing out of other states, because they know a segment of their population won't sail without a vaccination requirement, and it's going to look bad if they have another Diamond Princess fiasco.  Other lines are doing the test runs in the attempt to keep Florida sailings and just trying to salvage as much as possible.  

So now everyone's just watching to see which one will cave (my money is on the cruise lines).



 

hmmm,  so how about this.  When you do your check in (from home) they offer you the opportunity to upload your card.  If you do it, you're good to go.  If you haven't been vaccinated, or don't want to provide it, you're in the "unvaccinated group".  You then have way more test and mask restrictions than vaccinated people.  

 

Celebrity has said that they will sail 95% vaccinated.  And if you want to be in that other 5% by not showing your card, or by not being vaccinated, you are required to wear your mask everywhere, except when eating, drinking or in your cabin.  You will also have to be tested before boarding and maybe during the cruise (not sure about that) at your own expense.  They have not said exactly how they are  guaranteeing the 95%.  I think they're keep that quiet to prevent abuse.

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5 minutes ago, abbydancer said:

hmmm,  so how about this.  When you do your check in (from home) they offer you the opportunity to upload your card.  If you do it, you're good to go.  If you haven't been vaccinated, or don't want to provide it, you're in the "unvaccinated group".  You then have way more test and mask restrictions than vaccinated people.  

 

Why would anyone want to cruise in such a situation?  A pleasant vacation experience for those in Group A or in Group B?  I think not.  Certainly, not for me!

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31 minutes ago, NCteacherlovescruising said:

I guess I don’t understand what Florida has to do with Alaska cruises. 

Whew ok.  I *think* I've got this.

Canada does not want us right now, will not let ships from American ports in.  There is a law that requires ships to stop at a foreign port if they start and end in the same country.  For Alaska this means that up until now if you wanted to sail from Washington to Alaska you had to (by law) stop in Canada. 

So to get Alaska cruises up and moving Congress passed a workaround law a last month that said that the cruise ships are allowed to sail directly from Washington to Alaska without stopping at a foreign port (ie Canada).  The bill was only allowed to happen because of the included language about the conditional sail order (95% of the people to be vaccinated or they had to do test runs).  

The CDC is saying that by passing the workaround law, that Congress basically ratified the conditional sail order, since it was part of the conditions in the bill.

Florida is suing the administration to get rid of the conditional sail order.  If the injunction wins, and they get rid of the conditional sail order, it MAY affect the law about being able to sail from Washington to Alaska without stopping in Canada.  Alaska is clearly not happy about all this, and is also suing to be allowed to keep on keeping on.  




 

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, abbydancer said:

hmmm,  so how about this.  When you do your check in (from home) they offer you the opportunity to upload your card.  If you do it, you're good to go.  If you haven't been vaccinated, or don't want to provide it, you're in the "unvaccinated group".  You then have way more test and mask restrictions than vaccinated people.  

 

Celebrity has said that they will sail 95% vaccinated.  And if you want to be in that other 5% by not showing your card, or by not being vaccinated, you are required to wear your mask everywhere, except when eating, drinking or in your cabin.  You will also have to be tested before boarding and maybe during the cruise (not sure about that) at your own expense.  They have not said exactly how they are  guaranteeing the 95%.  I think they're keep that quiet to prevent abuse.

I'm under the impression that asking for verification in any way would be against Florida state law.  But it's super complicated, and I'm not a lawyer. 

Edited by PhotoGal07
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17 minutes ago, PhotoGal07 said:

I'm under the impression that asking for verification in any way would be against Florida state law.  But it's super complicated, and I'm not a lawyer. 

Neither am I, so I don't actually know anything.  I'm guessing (and total guess) that they're not asking you do to it, but you're welcome to if you want.  Or I might be totally off base.  

That said, Celebrity seems to think they have a workaround.  I'm sailing on the Equinox out of Ft. Lauderdale in October, so we'll see what they do.  (Best suggestion I heard on one of their threads was show card once in international water, and walk the plank if you can't produce it).

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17 minutes ago, PhotoGal07 said:

Whew ok.  I *think* I've got this.

Canada does not want us right now, will not let ships from American ports in.  There is a law that requires ships to stop at a foreign port if they start and end in the same country.  For Alaska this means that up until now if you wanted to sail from Washington to Alaska you had to (by law) stop in Canada. 

So to get Alaska cruises up and moving Congress passed a workaround law a last month that said that the cruise ships are allowed to sail directly from Washington to Alaska without stopping at a foreign port (ie Canada).  The bill was only allowed to happen because of the included language about the conditional sail order (95% of the people to be vaccinated or they had to do test runs).  

The CDC is saying that by passing the workaround law, that Congress basically ratified the conditional sail order, since it was part of the conditions in the bill.

Florida is suing the administration to get rid of the conditional sail order.  If the injunction wins, and they get rid of the conditional sail order, it MAY affect the law about being able to sail from Washington to Alaska without stopping in Canada.  Alaska is clearly not happy about all this, and is also suing to be allowed to keep on keeping on.  




 


Ok. I was aware of the law about stopping in a foreign port. I still don’t even understand why or how that is beneficial to Americans. 
 

Why only 95%?  Is it for those to young to receive the vaccine?  Why not just make it 100% and leave your children at home until the pandemic passes, as other pandemics have. 


Why can’t Florida just have that requirement for all businesses except travel, like planes and ships where people will be around others for extended periods of time. 
 

So if Alaska doesn’t want cruise ships there, then why are they suing?  🙄

15 minutes ago, PhotoGal07 said:

I'm under the impression that asking for verification in any way would be against Florida state law.  But it's super complicated, and I'm not a lawyer. 


Sounds complicated. I see both sides. I don’t think businesses should have access to our medical records, including vaccinations. However, there are always exceptions to laws (schools for instance) so I think they should just exempt cruise ships. 

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3 minutes ago, abbydancer said:

Neither am I, so I don't actually know anything.  I'm guessing (and total guess) that they're not asking you do to it, but you're welcome to if you want.  Or I might be totally off base.  

That said, Celebrity seems to think they have a workaround.  I'm sailing on the Equinox out of Ft. Lauderdale in October, so we'll see what they do.  (Best suggestion I heard on one of their threads was show card once in international water, and walk the plank if you can't produce it).


So how far from the port(s) is international waters?

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Posted (edited)
52 minutes ago, PhotoGal07 said:

Whew ok.  I *think* I've got this.

Canada does not want us right now, will not let ships from American ports in.  There is a law that requires ships to stop at a foreign port if they start and end in the same country.  For Alaska this means that up until now if you wanted to sail from Washington to Alaska you had to (by law) stop in Canada. 

 

Unfortunately, this is not totally factual.

 

To protect Canadian Health Service, Canada has banned all cruise ships from operating in Canadian Waters, not just those from US Ports. Non-cruise ships, including US Ferries are still welcome in Canadian Waters that originated in a US Port.

 

The US has a Maritime Cabotage Law - the US Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA), which restricts foreign-flagged ships from operating in the US domestic trade. The US Law is only applicable in the US. Not all countries have Maritime Cabotage Laws.

 

Any Foreign Flagged cruise ship operating R/T cruises from a US Port, must visit any foreign port, in order to comply. The US PVSA does not specify it has to be Canada. Therefore, for a R/T cruise the cruise lines could visit any port that is open to them - this could be Mexico. The Seattle cruises have used Canadian ports for convenience, but the US PVSA does not stipulate that they must stop in Canada.  However, the US CDC prevents the Mexico option, as they limited cruises to only 7-days.

 

If the cruise is from 1 US port to another US port, the ship must visit a "Distant Foreign Port", which excludes Canada & Mexico. However, cruise lines could easily head over to Asia, it would just add a number of days, but again the US CDC eliminated this as a potential option.

Edited by Heidi13
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3 hours ago, NCteacherlovescruising said:

I was aware of the law about stopping in a foreign port. I still don’t even understand why or how that is beneficial to Americans.

 

To review this, it is best to first divide cruise itineraries into two distinct categories: (1) A cruise that transports passengers from one port to another (a "one-way" cruise), and (2) a cruise that does not transport passengers from one port to another, but simply goes on an excursion to several other ports before returning back to port of embarkation (a "round-trip" cruise).

 

For a one-way cruise, the general rules are that one-way transportation between two ports both located within the United States must be provided on a U.S. flag vessel. The purpose is to protect the U.S. shipping industry, and not to allow foreign entities to engage in domestic transportation. But where the transportation is between one port located within the United States and another port located within some other country, there is no domestic transportation being provided, and it would be unfair--from an international perspective--for the United States to permit only vessels of its flag to sail the route and to deny vessels of the other country's flag to also sail the route. In fact, vessels of any flag can sail such routes that provide international transportation between two separate countries.

 

(There's a few exceptions to the one-way cruise rules. First, transportation between two U.S. ports may be provided by a foreign flag vessel if it is a long-distance cruise and it stops somewhere enroute at a "distant" foreign port. The idea is that the vessel would not really be serving domestic transportation needs, and there was a desire to avoid creating a loophole where vessels could simply serve a close-by foreign port for what is otherwise domestic transportation. So under this exception, foreign flag vessels may transport passengers one-way between California and Florida, provided that they stop at a "distant" foreign port (such as, for example, Cartagena, Columbia). There's another exception that allows for one-way transportation between the mainland United States and both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, at least temporarily, in recognition that there are no U.S. flag vessels presently providing transportation on these routes.)

 

For a round-trip cruise, the general rules are that an excursion may be made a foreign flag vessel if it includes at least one stop in a port located in a foreign country. that foreign port need not be "distant," but can as simple as, for example, a Seattle cruise stopping in Victoria, or a San Diego cruise stopping in Ensenada. These rules are harder to justify than those for one-way cruises. Again, the primary basis is the protection of the U.S. shipping industry, and so imposition of a requirement of a stop in a foreign country somewhat alleviates the concern that foreign entities are engaging in domestic transportation. Yet, is this rule not really illusory, particular when compared to the more stringent rules applicable to one-way cruises? Is a round-trip cruise not, in essence, a service provided in the U.S. domestic market that should rightfully be protected and reserved for U.S. entities? The reality is that there are no U.S. flag vessels (other than NCL's "Pride of America"), and even if there were, the higher wages demanded by U.S. crews would make fares not affordable for many.

 

The rules were first established with passage of the Passenger Vessel Services Act in 1886, in a different era where there were U.S. flag vessels and a U.S. shipping industry to protect. There are no vessels or industry left to protect. The effect of the act, at least in the case of Alaska cruises, is to ensure that ancillary business from Americans goes to Canada. Vessels either sail from Vancouver, rather than more convenient Seattle, or stop in ports not particularly desirable for many, such as Victoria or Prince Rupert. In other words, the effect of the act is exactly opposite of its purpose: it no longer protects U.S. industry, but instead hands over commercial dollars to our Canadian neighbors. Perhaps it is time to re-think the act.

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5 hours ago, NCteacherlovescruising said:

Can we please keep politics out of it?

 

Alas, it is a political battle. Florida wants to prevent the federal government from exceeding its enumerated powers and infringing upon what he believes to be the right of states to regulate. On the other hand, the federal government wants to regulate what it believes constitutes interstate commerce, an enumerated power of the federal government. Of course, within each of the two sovereigns are individuals seeking to further their individual agenda, and thus the politics.

 

On the merits of the dispute, I see problems with the CDC order, at least to the extent that it purports to require, or to limit the rights of individuals, based on their acquiescence to submit private healthcare records (probably in violation of HIPPA, the right to privacy found to exist in Roe v. Wade, and/or a more basic right to not be compelled to experimental medical treatments). Interestingly, the CDC argues that the condition imposed within the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act, with respect to its inclusion of references to the CDC's conditional sailing orders, implicitly ratifies the CDC's processes with the imprimatur of law. I think that is a stretch. Congress did not write the CDC's orders, and it would approve the CDC's actions only to the extent that they are lawful and consistent with the directives of Congress and the Constitution. Were a court to find the CDC provisions within the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act to be unconstitutional, the court would then have to determine if the remainder of the statute could stand on its own without the CDC provisions. I think that it would because the purpose of the act is to address a cabotage issue affected by the pandemic, and not, itself, to regulate public health. The CDC provision could easily be removed from the act, with the remainder sensible and enforceable. I don't opine as to the constitutionality of the CDC order, but if it were to be found unconstitutional, I think the Alaska Act would survive most intact.

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25 minutes ago, GTJ said:

 

To review this, it is best to first divide cruise itineraries into two distinct categories: (1) A cruise that transports passengers from one port to another (a "one-way" cruise), and (2) a cruise that does not transport passengers from one port to another, but simply goes on an excursion to several other ports before returning back to port of embarkation (a "round-trip" cruise).

 

For a one-way cruise, the general rules are that one-way transportation between two ports both located within the United States must be provided on a U.S. flag vessel. The purpose is to protect the U.S. shipping industry, and not to allow foreign entities to engage in domestic transportation. But where the transportation is between one port located within the United States and another port located within some other country, there is no domestic transportation being provided, and it would be unfair--from an international perspective--for the United States to permit only vessels of its flag to sail the route and to deny vessels of the other country's flag to also sail the route. In fact, vessels of any flag can sail such routes that provide international transportation between two separate countries.

 

(There's a few exceptions to the one-way cruise rules. First, transportation between two U.S. ports may be provided by a foreign flag vessel if it is a long-distance cruise and it stops somewhere enroute at a "distant" foreign port. The idea is that the vessel would not really be serving domestic transportation needs, and there was a desire to avoid creating a loophole where vessels could simply serve a close-by foreign port for what is otherwise domestic transportation. So under this exception, foreign flag vessels may transport passengers one-way between California and Florida, provided that they stop at a "distant" foreign port (such as, for example, Cartagena, Columbia). There's another exception that allows for one-way transportation between the mainland United States and both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, at least temporarily, in recognition that there are no U.S. flag vessels presently providing transportation on these routes.)

 

For a round-trip cruise, the general rules are that an excursion may be made a foreign flag vessel if it includes at least one stop in a port located in a foreign country. that foreign port need not be "distant," but can as simple as, for example, a Seattle cruise stopping in Victoria, or a San Diego cruise stopping in Ensenada. These rules are harder to justify than those for one-way cruises. Again, the primary basis is the protection of the U.S. shipping industry, and so imposition of a requirement of a stop in a foreign country somewhat alleviates the concern that foreign entities are engaging in domestic transportation. Yet, is this rule not really illusory, particular when compared to the more stringent rules applicable to one-way cruises? Is a round-trip cruise not, in essence, a service provided in the U.S. domestic market that should rightfully be protected and reserved for U.S. entities? The reality is that there are no U.S. flag vessels (other than NCL's "Pride of America"), and even if there were, the higher wages demanded by U.S. crews would make fares not affordable for many.

 

The rules were first established with passage of the Passenger Vessel Services Act in 1886, in a different era where there were U.S. flag vessels and a U.S. shipping industry to protect. There are no vessels or industry left to protect. The effect of the act, at least in the case of Alaska cruises, is to ensure that ancillary business from Americans goes to Canada. Vessels either sail from Vancouver, rather than more convenient Seattle, or stop in ports not particularly desirable for many, such as Victoria or Prince Rupert. In other words, the effect of the act is exactly opposite of its purpose: it no longer protects U.S. industry, but instead hands over commercial dollars to our Canadian neighbors. Perhaps it is time to re-think the act.


Thanks so much for your explanation!

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