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Crystal is now allowing embarkation in Miami, as well as unvaccinated guests


Richk582
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1 hour ago, reenief said:

Just sent this to Crystal:

 

Very concerned about changing ports yet again on the "Luxury Bahamas" cruise. Miami is NOT in The Bahamas. Crystal changed the schedule fully knowing that per Florida laws they can not require a vaccination as a stipulation for boarding. I would NOT have booked this trip knowing that unvaccinated persons were able to board. I just booked my air yesterday and would have to accept a voucher rather than a refund if I cancelled my air. The airfare was $778.00.  I should not have to bear this burden.  This is not acceptable to me. Crystal changed the game and I am put in a very untenable position. I feel manipulated and duped. Currently, I do not go anywhere that there is a possibility that I come into contact with an unvaccinated person and now I will be on a cruise ship with close quarters with them? Since this port has been changed several times since I booked, you need to reconsider Miami as a port just like you eliminated several other ports throughout the past several months. I am angry I am put in this position.
 
I talked to one of your agents (the phone number that was given on the email states that it is not activated)
Although he tried to assuage my concerns, it is still a game changer. Purposely done.  
 
I should not be on the hook with an air voucher for that amount.  I should have trust in your company.  On page 12 of The Bahamas information booklet it states “as the COVID 19 vaccine is a requirement for travel with Crystal” So you which is it?  Talking around both sides of the situation. 
 
I spent thousands to book this cruise specifically because of the COVID vaccine requirement.  I don’t feel I should be uncomfortable and concerned about my heath because you are looking for more revenue.  Which is the only reason you would add this port and especially since this port is notably not in the Bahamas.  

I understand your frustration but your email implies that you do not leave your home because every place you go you are confronted indoors by people who are not vaccinated, including the plane you be be riding on to get to embarkation. 

1 hour ago, ggo85 said:

My thought is that Crystal wants to allow embarkation and debarkation in Miami primarily b/c it is logistically MUCH easier and thus will likely attract more passengers (folks like us).  The downside is that, apparently, under FL law, Crystal can't require vaccinations if they sail from a FL port.  I don't think they're trying to appeal to the unvaccinated as much as they are trying to get more people to sail by making it more convenient and cheap to get to / from the ship.

 

My guess is that they are trying to make it (at least sound) burdensome for unvaccinated passengers in the hope that not many will sail, while still attracting more vaccinated passengers who are willing to travel to Miami but not Nassau. 

 

Of course, the proof will be in how they enforce things on board.  I fear -- based on the way most things are "enforced" on most cruise ships -- it won't be what we would want / expect.  Can only hope that the fact this is a health issue (vs. wearing shorts in the MDR), will have some impact.  

 

As noted, while I definitely would prefer a fully vaccinated ship, almost every vaccinated person regularly interacts with non-vaccinated people in their daily lives.  Assuming the unvaccinated have to wear masks on the ship (which they don't in most places in this country), how is this any different than being in an airport, on a plane, in a grocery store, at the doctor's office -- or anywhere else? 

 

For those who plan to switch lines, what makes you confident they won't adopt a similar policy?

 

***Cross-posted with above poster.

THIS is spot on.

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Following The Bahamas cruises in November is the original itinerary on November 19th on Serenity for Thanksgiving. It's a round trip Miami. I had expected they would have changed the itinerary at some point, given the pandemic, but I would imagine now they will leave that itinerary intact? Of course change is not out of the questions given the constant changes 🙂

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For those of you that are changing to Miami for embarkation, remember that Crystal can cancel that port just as fast as they added it. Remember the people leaving from Bimini on the first couple cruises were given a couple days notice that they had to make their way to Nassau at their own expense to board.  What is to stop Crystal from changing the Miami port after the first couple cruises if it turns out not to get the added passengers they are hoping for?  

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11 minutes ago, smlnd said:

For those of you that are changing to Miami for embarkation, remember that Crystal can cancel that port just as fast as they added it. Remember the people leaving from Bimini on the first couple cruises were given a couple days notice that they had to make their way to Nassau at their own expense to board.  What is to stop Crystal from changing the Miami port after the first couple cruises if it turns out not to get the added passengers they are hoping for?  

 

Yes--it is getting pretty hard to guess.

Add to your decision matrix the rising cases, hospitalizations and deaths in both Nassau and Miami.

What is the possibility of either shutting down, or Crystal canceling an embarkation, or---the entire cruise is cancelled due to Delta variant? 

At this point we are throwing darts at a dartboard.

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3 minutes ago, broker1217 said:

 

Yes--it is getting pretty hard to guess.

Add to your decision matrix the rising cases, hospitalizations and deaths in both Nassau and Miami.

What is the possibility of either shutting down, or Crystal canceling an embarkation, or---the entire cruise is cancelled due to Delta variant? 

At this point we are throwing darts at a dartboard.

Feels like a coin flip today.  We're all back to April 2020 if we don't control Delta.  

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14 minutes ago, smlnd said:

For those of you that are changing to Miami for embarkation, remember that Crystal can cancel that port just as fast as they added it. Remember the people leaving from Bimini on the first couple cruises were given a couple days notice that they had to make their way to Nassau at their own expense to board.  What is to stop Crystal from changing the Miami port after the first couple cruises if it turns out not to get the added passengers they are hoping for?  

 

Legally Crystal would have both more exposure and liability if they cancelled the Miami calls for that reason (or anything that remotely smelled like that) than they did in the case of Bimini, but I still think this is a valid concern.  There are MANY reasons the Miami stop could go sideways, some of which out of Crystal's control or call, and passengers (or their insurance, depending) would then be responsible for the change.  

 

Vince

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Crystal have just published this over on the Crystal Society Facebook page 

 

Crystal Cruises has added Miami as a port of call and a port of embarkation for Crystal Serenity’s Luxury Bahamas Escapes voyages. The addition of Miami begins with the Saturday, August 7 voyage from Nassau with embarkation from the Port of Miami commencing on Monday, August 9. This update to the itinerary will allow travelers to enjoy a U.S. city departure affording ample flight options as well as another port of call for guests sailing on this unique itinerary. The seven-night round-trip Luxury Bahamas Escapes have been extended to early November and now include three ports of embarkation: Nassau on Saturdays, Bimini on Sundays, and Miami on Mondays. 

 

All guests 12 years or older are required to be fully inoculated with a COVID-19 vaccine (both doses if recommended by manufacturer) at least 14 days prior to boarding any Crystal ship. Due to Florida state law, the company will adjust its vaccination policy for the Miami port of embarkation and will highly recommend, but not require, that all guests be fully vaccinated. 

 

At check-in, guests will be asked to provide documentation of their vaccination, such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card. Those who are 12 and older and do not have or are unable to provide documentation will be considered unvaccinated.

 

Unvaccinated guests must undergo additional COVID-19 testing at their own expense including a PCR test three days prior to embarkation and follow additional protocols, which are based on guidance from the CDC, in addition to certain restrictions during their journey, which can be found here: https://www.crystalcruises.com/crystal-cruises-unvaccinated-ocean-guests-protocols. They must be pre-approved after initial waitlist, are subject to limited capacity control, and proof of valid travel insurance is required. These details are being communicated in advance and must be agreed upon as a condition of travel.

 

Some of these restrictions for unvaccinated guests include mandatory mask requirement in all public areas except when eating and/or drinking, no access to certain public areas including specialty restaurants, lounges and night clubs, Crystal Life Spa and Crystal Life Fitness and they may not be able to go ashore at certain ports or attend gatherings onboard such as the Crystal Society party, etc. Dining will be assigned in a socially distanced area. Unvaccinated guests will be identified by a red bracelet while vaccinated guests will be identified by a green bracelet to assist the officers and crew in enforcing restrictions. 

 

Crystal River Cruises and Crystal Symphony’s New York and Boston sailings to Bermuda will remain at 100 percent vaccination requirement for all guests and crew. All guests 12 and older will be required to be fully vaccinated on Crystal Endeavor, however, the ship will accept a limited number of children 11 and under who are not eligible for the vaccine.

We understand that those already booked on Crystal Serenity’s Luxury Bahamas Escapes may have questions or concerns so we ask that they call our Reservations team at 800.446.6620 for further information.

 

https://www.crystalcruises.com.au/crystal-cruises-unvaccinated-ocean-guests-protocols

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Stickman1990 said:

Crystal have just published this over on the Crystal Society Facebook page 

 

Crystal Cruises has added Miami as a port of call and a port of embarkation for Crystal Serenity’s Luxury Bahamas Escapes voyages. The addition of Miami begins with the Saturday, August 7 voyage from Nassau with embarkation from the Port of Miami commencing on Monday, August 9. This update to the itinerary will allow travelers to enjoy a U.S. city departure affording ample flight options as well as another port of call for guests sailing on this unique itinerary. The seven-night round-trip Luxury Bahamas Escapes have been extended to early November and now include three ports of embarkation: Nassau on Saturdays, Bimini on Sundays, and Miami on Mondays. 

 

All guests 12 years or older are required to be fully inoculated with a COVID-19 vaccine (both doses if recommended by manufacturer) at least 14 days prior to boarding any Crystal ship. Due to Florida state law, the company will adjust its vaccination policy for the Miami port of embarkation and will highly recommend, but not require, that all guests be fully vaccinated. 

 

At check-in, guests will be asked to provide documentation of their vaccination, such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card. Those who are 12 and older and do not have or are unable to provide documentation will be considered unvaccinated.

 

Unvaccinated guests must undergo additional COVID-19 testing at their own expense including a PCR test three days prior to embarkation and follow additional protocols, which are based on guidance from the CDC, in addition to certain restrictions during their journey, which can be found here: https://www.crystalcruises.com/crystal-cruises-unvaccinated-ocean-guests-protocols. They must be pre-approved after initial waitlist, are subject to limited capacity control, and proof of valid travel insurance is required. These details are being communicated in advance and must be agreed upon as a condition of travel.

 

Some of these restrictions for unvaccinated guests include mandatory mask requirement in all public areas except when eating and/or drinking, no access to certain public areas including specialty restaurants, lounges and night clubs, Crystal Life Spa and Crystal Life Fitness and they may not be able to go ashore at certain ports or attend gatherings onboard such as the Crystal Society party, etc. Dining will be assigned in a socially distanced area. Unvaccinated guests will be identified by a red bracelet while vaccinated guests will be identified by a green bracelet to assist the officers and crew in enforcing restrictions. 

 

Crystal River Cruises and Crystal Symphony’s New York and Boston sailings to Bermuda will remain at 100 percent vaccination requirement for all guests and crew. All guests 12 and older will be required to be fully vaccinated on Crystal Endeavor, however, the ship will accept a limited number of children 11 and under who are not eligible for the vaccine.

We understand that those already booked on Crystal Serenity’s Luxury Bahamas Escapes may have questions or concerns so we ask that they call our Reservations team at 800.446.6620 for further information.

 

https://www.crystalcruises.com.au/crystal-cruises-unvaccinated-ocean-guests-protocols

 

I wonder if anyone will reply to their post with a comment.  😏 

 

Vince

[ /sarcasm off ]

Edited by BWIVince
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39 minutes ago, BWIVince said:

 

I wonder if anyone will reply to their post with a comment.  😏 

 

Vince

[ /sarcasm off ]

Three boarding stops in 7 days.  What is this, Amtrak?

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4 hours ago, smlnd said:

We are also on Aug 28 sailing and also coming from California.  Am curious about option #3.  Will they let you move your embarkation to Aug. 30 without the 25% penalty?  However, this would still mean changing your flights.

I had agent call this morning. She was given the run around.

 

Something about filling out a form. My cruise is August 14th .I am calling a Miami hotel tomorrow and booking on the hope I can move. Also will check flights.

 

I live in NC and just rather sail in and out of Miami.

 

if they will not let me..will just cancel.

 

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9 hours ago, JFontaine said:

Cruisers  can choose to stay away from the unvaccinated (check for those red wristbands in elevators and restrooms - how uncomfortable), but the crew - who live and work in tight accommodations and who also serve the vaccinated - can't. 

And that is what bothers me most about this decision. 

Now having said that, I'm hoping that Crystal makes it even less enticing to come onboard if unvaccinated.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, MisterBill99 said:

 

HIPAA does not apply to telling vaccine status to businesses and non-medical entities. Schools routinely ask if students have been vaccinated for measles.

 

HIPAA Does Not Prevent Employers, Businesses From Asking Your Covid-19 Vaccination Status (forbes.com)

Thank you for  the link.  Much appreciate it!

Edited by Cancun01
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9 hours ago, Sweetpea711423 said:

I can respond to this as a retired General Counsel for a teaching hospital in Boston, who worked there at the time HIPAA was passed and implemented.  I am horrified about the level of misunderstanding about HIPAA and its use as an excuse for people refusing to provide their own vaccination information when asked.

 

HIPAA only applies to entities that are covered by HIPAA – healthcare providers, health plans, and the like.  If an employer asks an employee to provide proof of vaccination in order to be allowed to work, that is not a HIPAA violation since HIPAA does not apply to most employers.  What would be a HIPAA violation is if the individual’s health care provider (doctor, hospital, etc.) released his/her vaccination information to the employer.  It is not a HIPAA violation for a cruise ship line to require from the potential guest proof of vaccination.  It would be a HIPAA violation if the potential guest’s health care provider released to the cruise ship line information it has about the person’s vaccination status. 

 

This is in fact why, when the Governor of Florida wanted to prevent employers from asking employees their vaccination status, he asked for and got a state law providing for that.  If it were a violation of HIPAA, he wouldn’t have needed to do that.

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this  clear and concise explanation.  As a Canadian I was unaware of the HIPAA legislation until a friend mentioned it over lunch.   I tried to research the HIPAA laws but I wasn’t sure which law  superseded and I needed assistance in understanding the nuances which weren’t clear to me!!! Now I get it! Thanks again! 

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Since the refund debacle, we have hesitated about booking a Crystal cruise.

now with these last minute important changes, we are more hesitant than ever to book with them. Love the ships, the staff and would love to return. But until Crystal management can be trusted, we will go elsewhere.

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10 hours ago, Sweetpea711423 said:

I can respond to this as a retired General Counsel for a teaching hospital in Boston, who worked there at the time HIPAA was passed and implemented.  I am horrified about the level of misunderstanding about HIPAA and its use as an excuse for people refusing to provide their own vaccination information when asked.

 

HIPAA only applies to entities that are covered by HIPAA – healthcare providers, health plans, and the like.  If an employer asks an employee to provide proof of vaccination in order to be allowed to work, that is not a HIPAA violation since HIPAA does not apply to most employers.  What would be a HIPAA violation is if the individual’s health care provider (doctor, hospital, etc.) released his/her vaccination information to the employer.  It is not a HIPAA violation for a cruise ship line to require from the potential guest proof of vaccination.  It would be a HIPAA violation if the potential guest’s health care provider released to the cruise ship line information it has about the person’s vaccination status. 

 

This is in fact why, when the Governor of Florida wanted to prevent employers from asking employees their vaccination status, he asked for and got a state law providing for that.  If it were a violation of HIPAA, he wouldn’t have needed to do that.

When I was in Law School, I had a professor who said that if we didn't have a helpful respinse to an argument by the opposition, we should just stand in front of a jury, wave our arms, and scream Corpus Juris Secundum!  I think maybe HIPAA is the layman's equivalent to that.      As a retired General COunsel of a Medical Products company, I hope we meet one of these days on a Crystal cruise. We can swap "war stories." 

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13 minutes ago, marienbad said:

Love the ships, the staff and would love to return. But until Crystal management can be trusted, we will go elsewhere.

 

Just filled out the post-cruise survey and our feedback is pretty much in line with what you've stated.

 

Even though we - quite fortunately  - weren't affected, such a change would have had a devastating impact on the overall enjoyment.  If you think that people are PO'd at shorts during dinner, just wait until the unvaccinated show even a semblance of flouting the rules - even accidentally.  The opportunities of pitting passengers against one another are only going to amplify with this unnecessary and avoidable class system. 

 

But above all, it's about trust.  Trust that both sides keep their end of the contract.  It's one thing to expect reasonable unavoidable changes such as cancellation of ports of call or an extra unscheduled stop at Nassau, but this is just unacceptable.  We'd be demanding full refunds after cancelling our trip.

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3 hours ago, flyingshoes said:

Three boarding stops in 7 days.  What is this, Amtrak?

While more than a little (😲) uncommon in the luxury end of the cruise market, it is a fairly common practice, especially in the Med, in the rest of the industry. Lots of strange things happening in the cruise industry these days due to COVID.

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3 hours ago, flyingshoes said:

Three boarding stops in 7 days.  What is this, Amtrak?

Long cruises seem to be endless days on repeat, but short cruises have a very definite beginning, middle and end rhythm.  I can imagine how disruptive hotel-like turnover of coming and going passengers would be on a short cruise.  

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23 hours ago, MomC said:

I would never have booked this cruise and the one following if I hadn’t been told all staff and guests will be fully vaccinated.  This is on CRYSTAL since they didn’t have to change their itinerary and go to Miami.  This is not the cruise I was sold. 
 

While I realize Crystal will try to keep unvaccinated passengers away from those of us who followed the rules, this only works if they are honest and wear their bracelets.  They are on their honor, and they have proven they don’t honor CDC recommendations.  Or as I like to say, they have no honor.

 

This is a deal breaker for us.  I will be calling to cancel and get my money back first thing tomorrow.

 

I am furious and this has changed my opinion of this cruise line.

 

Yes, I am furious—I have looked forward to this cruise for 6 months

 

Mom C

These cruises were first available to book in late April.  Three months. 

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2 hours ago, behrsmom said:

I believe he is in Iceland, according to his blog IIRC.

Not yet..thought first cruise in august or us that my other friends,

he is answering messages 

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1 hour ago, chicagogal said:

These cruises were first available to book in late April.  Three months. 

SMH but if you want to be petty....

 

I received an email from my TA at the beginning of March 

 

CLOSE TO HOME | NASSAU OR BIMINI ROUNDTRIP 
DOUBLE CRYSTAL SOCIETY SAVINGS 

 

RESERVATIONS OPEN MARCH 18, 2021

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6 minutes ago, Cancun01 said:

SMH but if you want to be petty....

 

I received an email from my TA at the beginning of March 

 

CLOSE TO HOME | NASSAU OR BIMINI ROUNDTRIP 
DOUBLE CRYSTAL SOCIETY SAVINGS 

 

RESERVATIONS OPEN MARCH 18, 2021

Yes we originally booked the first two weeks they sailed but had to cancel.

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