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Richard Fain, RCG CEO, discusses vaccination strategies during restart of cruising


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1 minute ago, Billy Baltic said:


I believe there was a practice of hanging bells around the neck of lepers to warn people to keep their distance. Maybe something like that with a nice RC logo

 

LOL, I think that everyone will be following the same protocols if the ship is under 95% vaccinated. 

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, shutterbug63 said:

There's one thing I'm not understanding about this.  It was my understanding that the Florida law prohibits Royal from requiring proof of vaccination to board the ship.  But the way I read it, it doesn't prohibit them from asking if someone has had the vaccine. If that's the case but no proof has to be shown, then nothing's stopping someone from lying.  It's basically the honor system. So how then would they differentiate between vaccinated and unvaccinated passengers?  Maybe I'm making a mountain of  a molehill here, but it does bring a question to my mind.

 

Simple. Worst case, once they sail, they require showing proof of vaccination to obtain something that provides those privileges.

 

More likely there's nothing prohibiting them to make an offer up front for voluntary compliance to provide something.

 

Edited by dswallow
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3 minutes ago, shutterbug63 said:

There's one thing I'm not understanding about this.  It was my understanding that the Florida law prohibits Royal from requiring proof of vaccination to board the ship.  But the way I read it, it doesn't prohibit them from asking if someone has had the vaccine. If that's the case but no proof has to be shown, then nothing's stopping someone from lying.  It's basically the honor system. So how then would they differentiate between vaccinated and unvaccinated passengers?  Maybe I'm making a mountain of  a molehill here, but it does bring a question to my mind.

 

Proof could be required to avoid being marked as untouchable

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, dswallow said:

 

Royal Caribbean ships often have a pool area restricted to passengers age 16 and older. The latest ship (Wonder of the Seas) will have an entire neighborhood accessible only to suite guests.

Pools are one thing.  Restaurants, bars, theaters, etc. are entirely another. Notwithstanding that it might be the way to go, it will NOT go over well. 

Edited by harkinmr
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1 minute ago, dswallow said:

 

Simple. Worst case, once they sail, they require showing proof of vaccination to obtain something that provides those privileges.

 

More likely there's nothing prohibiting them for make an offer up front for voluntary compliance to provide something.

 

 

That makes sense. Once they're out of Florida, Florida's restrictions about vaccines don't apply. I didn't think of that.

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3 minutes ago, dswallow said:

 

Royal Caribbean ships often have a pool area restricted to passengers age 16 and older. The latest ship (Wonder of the Seas) will have an entire neighborhood accessible only to suite guests.

 

Don't forget suite decks on most other ships

 

Pinns may no longer have access though.

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Just now, John&LaLa said:

 

You mean age discrimination 🤔

 

Age Discrimination | U.S. Department of Labor (dol.gov)

But if you mean the same "age discrimination" that permits a state to prohibit buying/possessing/drinking alcoholic beverages, or purchasing/possessing tobacco products, or operating a motor vehicle, or limiting who can purchase or rent in a retirement community. Yes.

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1 hour ago, dswallow said:

 

Transcript of Richard Fain’s video released on 6/7/2021.
 

Hello again travel partners! We here at the Royal Caribbean Group hope you’re all having a great start to summer especially as cruising is beginning to resume in earnest. In response to questions from some of you, my wife is still acting as my cameraperson, but I expect I’ll soon be back in the office with professional help. Actually, I’m not eager to give this up. I’ve enjoyed doing these videos with her and I will miss her “constructive” criticism.

 

Management guru Tom Peters once said, “if you’re not confused, you’re not paying attention.” Well, I’m paying attention and I’m confused as hell. Overall, of course I’m a very happy camper because our healthy return to service is well underway and that’s very exciting. But I’m still confused about the details involved in getting us there. Let me try and explain my view of the current state of play, knowing that it’s all going to change tomorrow.

 

The key to everything is the vaccines. They are proving to be the game changer that we all hoped for. Fortunately, our country is in a strong leadership position regarding vaccines. The US was in the forefront of developing the vaccines and the US is in the forefront of delivering them. Already almost 2/3rds of adults have gotten them, and that number is climbing. America is leading the world in this regard and when I talk to people in Europe and Asia, they look at us with envy.

 

As more and more of the country gets vaccinated, the role of the vaccine is beginning to morph. Initially when the number of vaccinated was small, the vaccines mainly protected the person taking the vaccine. That’s still true that vaccines protect each of us individually. But today as we get vaccinated, we’re not only helping ourselves, we're helping the people around us. In order to reopen society, we need large numbers of people to be vaccinated. Even if we don’t feel that we need the protection for ourselves, we should still do it to help our friends and neighbors. It’s a bit like litter. If I drop a piece of litter on the ground, it makes an insignificant impact on the environment. But if a lot of people drop litter, the cumulative impact is enormous. The same thing’s true of vaccines. Getting one today not only protects you from the virus, it protects the whole society and allows us to get back to normalcy.

 

Which brings us to the question of vaccines on board our ships. We believe vaccines can help make our cruise ships not only as safe as land-based activities but even safer. That's because we control the environment in a way that few on land can even dream of.

 

If I go into a store on land or go to a theme park or attend an event the ability of the operator to vet who enters is limited. They can't do extensive screening for something that’s only going to last for a few hours. All they can do is implement protocols to limit interaction once the people are there. But such protocols are more intrusive and less effective than preventing the introduction of the virus in the first place.

 

On the other hand, cruise guests will be on for days and days and we can therefore enact extensive requirements before people board designed to prevent the virus from coming on board in the first place. In effect we can establish processes designed to prevent COVID from entering the ship, creating a sort of bubble. That bubble not only gives greater protection than available almost anywhere, but it also means that we don’t have to have such extensive operating protocols. The result is not only a safer cruise but a better and more enjoyable one.

 

So, as I said before we intend to vaccinate all our crew members. 100%. In fact, we’ve already given vaccines to 16,465 seafarers. Clearly, we’re not messing around.

 

On top of that, we want all of our guests to be vaccinated as well. We want that because we believe it makes us all safer. And we want that because our guests want that. In our surveys the vast majority have either already received a vaccination or are about to do so. Ideally everyone on board would be vaccinated.

 

But in practice there have to be some exceptions. The main exception will be children under 12 who cannot get a vaccine today. But children tend to spend time in the family unit and studies have shown that children are a lesser source of infection than adults. Soon children as young as five years old will be eligible. That will result in even fewer exceptions.

 

Now this raises the issue of the Florida law which prohibits business in Florida from requiring proof of vaccination for services within the state. This unique law only applies within Florida. While we obviously have to comply with the law of the land, we do not believe that we will have significant numbers of unvaccinated for several reasons. Remember, the vast bulk of our guests want vaccinations and, in most cases, already have them.

 

In addition, due to the health and legal requirements of many jurisdictions, those who are unvaccinated will need to undergo additional testing and other restrictions. That necessarily adds to their cost and adds limitations on the cruise for those people who choose to be unvaccinated. There would be no additional cost for children who are not eligible for the vaccine.

 

Our plan therefore continues to be that virtually everyone who’s eligible for a vaccine will have one. On some of our ships with fewer children, including Celebrity and Silversea and some Royal Caribbean International ships, we will ensure that the percent vaccinated will exceed 95%. On other ships we expect almost everyone over 12 will be vaccinated. The specifics are confusing and there will undoubtedly be movement of the various details during the coming weeks.

 

I know some observers will greet each issue, each minute action, each side comment as momentous. But we should all take a collective breath. We're working through the details in a positive and constructive manner. While there will inevitably be some elements of confusion as we do so, the outcome isn't in any real doubt.

 

After 15 months of no forward motion suddenly everything is happening at lightspeed. We are moving forward, and cruising is restarting. All the parties seem aligned that cruising needs to restart. The CDC in Atlanta are now constructively dialoguing with us. The governor and other Florida officials clearly want to welcome the jobs that cruising generates. The mayors and other officials are eager for our return. Even Congress understands the importance of our industry, passing, unanimously, the bill that allows us to provide cruises to Alaska this summer. Can you think of one other piece of legislation that got every member of Congress to support it? OMG, rarely have so many different interests agreed on one thing and that thing is the importance of the cruise industry restarting in a healthy manner. Therefore, it's all happening. We are moving inexorably towards the total resumption of cruising in a safe and healthy manner.

 

So last Saturday Celebrity Millennium started her first voyage in 15 months leaving from Sint Maarten to destinations in the Caribbean. In less than a week Adventure of the Seas will start sailing from Nassau. In just two weeks Celebrity Edge will depart Port Everglades with our own Captain Kate at the helm. On July 2nd, Freedom of the Seas will leave PortMiami on her first sailing to Nassau and our incomparable private island Perfect Day at CocoCay. And during the rest of the year, we will be methodically bringing back the rest of our fleet. By the way, I intend to be on these inaugural sailings from Miami to celebrate. I really do have a tough job but taking these inaugural cruises… that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make!

 

So, while I may not know every detail of the process, I can assure you of this: we will not restart any ship unless and until we are confident of two things. Firstly, that it is safe to do so and more so than shoreside equivalents, and secondly that the experience on board meets our exacting expectations, including guest ratings of the cruise at least equal to what they were pre-pandemic.

 

One of the reasons I’m so confident of the experience going forward comes from my discussions with our employees. Those conversations frankly have been very emotional for me. You all know that it’s our crew that makes our cruises so special and has for 50 years. The ships are exceptional, of course, but the crew are the people that take the experience to the next level. But while the crew are normally amazing, they are walking on cloud 9 today. It's just so emotional to talk to them and to see their enthusiasm. Frankly you can't talk to them without being overwhelmed by their emotions. That excitement is contagious, and your clients will be the beneficiaries.

 

And something similar is happening with our guests. We can already see from the first sailing on Celebrity Millennium how people are reacting. After 15 long months of isolation, the freedom of being in this kind of bubble is incredibly liberating.

 

So, start counting the days on your fingers. Mark the dates off on your calendars. Make sure your businesses are ready to respond to the pent-up demand. Summer is starting in the United States and cruising is going to be a big part of it. And don't forget to get your vaccine and wash your hands!

 

 

 

Thanks a lot. Like others have said, I appreciate the transcript. Text beats video/audio any day. That said, looks like exciting days ahead and it's good he's admitting the uncertainties involved. Loved the encouragement to get vaccinated and acknowledgement of relevant authorities in aiding the process to resumption of safe cruising.

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14 minutes ago, lr657 said:

They would need a way to easily differentiate who is vaccinated and who isn't. 

 

You bring that up like it's an insurmountable problem.

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6 minutes ago, John&LaLa said:

 

You mean age discrimination 🤔

 

Not discrimination at all. Even DCL, which is by far the most kid friendly cruise line in the planet has adult-only pools.

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The thing that got me was the phrase, "we are bound by the Law of the Land", that is a specific legal term and is found in the Supremacy clause of the US Constitution. 

 

Crazy theory, but was Fain alluding to the cruise lines position that FL law is invalid because it goes against the US Constitution? 

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Just now, CruisingHogFan said:

Fain must not follow cruisecrutic or he would know that many guests aren’t going to do the right thing and get vaccinated…..

 

I think we've already seen that many guests who enjoy discourse and contrarianism and complaining about it are, indeed, still getting vaccinated. Some even repeatedly communicate it.

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1 minute ago, Dat Cruisin Couple said:

The thing that got me was the phrase, "we are bound by the Law of the Land", that is a specific legal term and is found in the Supremacy clause of the US Constitution. 

 

Crazy theory, but was Fain alluding to the cruise lines position that FL law is invalid because it goes against the US Constitution? 

 

I didn't catch the significance of that one, but I do think many parts of this video were very carefully worded.

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Just now, dswallow said:

 

I think we've already seen that many guests who enjoy discourse and contrarianism and complaining about it are, indeed, still getting vaccinated. Some even repeatedly communicate it.

 

CC had an informal poll of site visitors and 81% said pro vaccination. https://www.cruisecritic.com/ab/agents/variation-a/news/5849/

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Posted (edited)

Royal may not be able to require pax to furnish proof of vaccination, but nothing prohibits them (to my knowledge) from rewarding those who voluntarily provide such proof to receive different, more favorable, accommodations.  
We’ll see how it pans out. 

Edited by HicksRA
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My favorite line from this: 

 

"On other ships we expect almost everyone over 12 will be vaccinated. The specifics are confusing and there will undoubtedly be movement of the various details during the coming weeks."

 

Meaning the whole vaccines not required is NOT set in stone. We will see changes.

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In addition, due to the health and legal requirements of many jurisdictions, those who are unvaccinated will need to undergo additional testing and other restrictions. That necessarily adds to their cost and adds limitations on the cruise for those people who choose to be unvaccinated. There would be no additional cost for children who are not eligible for the vaccine.

 

 

 

So it seems those unvaccinated will have to bear additional  cost to cruise. I am guessing  for testing  etc. To meet the requirements of those countries  they cruise to.

 

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4 minutes ago, Tony O said:

In addition, due to the health and legal requirements of many jurisdictions, those who are unvaccinated will need to undergo additional testing and other restrictions. That necessarily adds to their cost and adds limitations on the cruise for those people who choose to be unvaccinated. There would be no additional cost for children who are not eligible for the vaccine.

 

 

 

So it seems those unvaccinated will have to bear additional  cost to cruise. I am guessing  for testing  etc. To meet the requirements of those countries  they cruise to.

 

 

Additional costs AND restrictions...

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1 hour ago, Jimbo said:

So all the unvaccinated stay in one area of the ship...........and all vaccinated stay in another part of the ship..............I assume the unvaccinated area will be in the lower decks(Cheap seats) and the vaccinated in the higher decks(Balcony seats)

Once a majority of the unvaccinated come down with Covid, you know they get to that percentage where they have to turn the ship around and go back to the port they starting from and end the cruise............

That will go over big by vaccinated passengers.............Hope I'm not watching a Titanic sequel of 2021..........

 

How do we keep the unvaccinated from mingling with the vaccinated on the upper decks Jack !

SMH, Actually the majority of the unvaccinated will be the third and fourth passenger in a couple of vaccinated passengers stateroom.

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23 minutes ago, shutterbug63 said:

 

That makes sense. Once they're out of Florida, Florida's restrictions about vaccines don't apply. I didn't think of that.

So what do they do?  Throw the unvaccinated overboard?

 

Seriously.  It’s a little late at that point to ask for proof.  

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30 minutes ago, dswallow said:

 

Simple. Worst case, once they sail, they require showing proof of vaccination to obtain something that provides those privileges.

 

More likely there's nothing prohibiting them to make an offer up front for voluntary compliance to provide something.

 

Proof would be required to remove the additional charges on their sea pass account. 

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