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Royal Now Requires Covid Test For All Passengers


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The testing requirement in RCL has more to do with Royal NOT requiring passengers to be vaccinated unlike Celebrity's 95% requirement for cruises leaving from Florida. No way I would be on a ship with 4000 passengers and NO vaccination requirements.  RCL has a total different demographic than Celebrity with more families and as much as 25% children under 12  on a cruise.

 

This is directly from RCL's website as of this morning:

Vaccination Guidelines

For sailings departing from Florida on or after August 1, 2021, we strongly recommend all guests 12 and older be fully vaccinated. To be considered fully vaccinated, the final dose of the vaccine must be completed at least 14 days before sailing.

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.

Our unvaccinated guests must undergo additional COVID-19 testing at their own expense, provide proof of a valid travel insurance policy with sufficient medical coverage for needs related to a positive COVID-19 test result, and follow the health protocols described below, which are based on guidance from the CDC.

We believe that in the coming months, restrictions and requirements will be more accommodating as public health circumstances evolve.

All crew onboard our ships will be fully vaccinated.

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8 minutes ago, cscurlock said:

It also doesn't help that the D variant has about 1000 times more load than the original version of the virus.  Apparently its as easy as getting chickenpox now. 

 

I can't comment about chicken pox, but it's rather apparent that delta has a much higher viral load and is a great deal more transmissible than alpha.  Maybe that viral load actually has an "upside" (for lack of a better word at the moment) in that the higher viral load makes it more detectable?  I haven't seen anything about that, so I don't know.

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7 hours ago, jelayne said:

I too would like to see a rapid test at the pier and while it would be nice if X paid I would pay for it.  If we have to pay for a pre cruise test would be a lot easier to do a rapid test at the pier.

 

I don't mean to single your post out, but I just had a couple more thoughts about everyone testing at the pier.

 

First, do we really want a bunch of folks who haven't already tested congregating at the pier?  Yes, we're all masked up (for the moment), but it seems like we're asking for a problem right at the finish line (so to speak).

 

Second, do you really want to find out at the pier that you're denied boarding because you're positive?  I would much rather have a test earlier and just stay home.  Granted, there's a window where things can happen, but it's pretty small.  Earlier testing will eliminate the vast majority of positive cases showing up at the pier in the first place (or travelling, for that matter).

 

Finally, even if Celebrity "pays for it," we all know that we're paying for it.  It'll just be the next thing "always included." 😉

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13 minutes ago, DCPIV said:

 

I don't mean to single your post out, but I just had a couple more thoughts about everyone testing at the pier.

 

First, do we really want a bunch of folks who haven't already tested congregating at the pier?  Yes, we're all masked up (for the moment), but it seems like we're asking for a problem right at the finish line (so to speak).

 

Well, while I get what you are thinking it would be the same bunch later meeting on board without masks and without distancing.


So I don´t think the test at the pier with masks, distancing and reduced numbers because of the time slots would make a big difference.

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1 minute ago, Miaminice said:

Well, while I get what you are thinking it would be the same bunch later meeting on board without masks and without distancing.

 

Only if everyone tests negative.  I would rather the positives never show up at all.

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2 minutes ago, little britain said:

This is causing issues with B2Bs as of course the PCR test cannot be done on board 3 days prior to cruise 2 starting. 
B2Bs are being cancelled. 

Hi we have B2B on Equinox in November, is this written somewhere as we know the US will not let us in at the moment . If B2B not allowed will definitely have to think again 

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7 minutes ago, little britain said:

This is causing issues with B2Bs as of course the PCR test cannot be done on board 3 days prior to cruise 2 starting. 
B2Bs are being cancelled. 


 


it’s PCR OR antigen… so no problem.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, emmas gran said:

Thats good we are both fully vaccinated👍

 

🙂 We are as well... and happy we are.

 

But this is about testing for ALL - regardless if vaccinated or not. 

I wouldn´t mind that either. 

 

Edited by Miaminice
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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, little britain said:

It’s PCR only for Anthem in UK. So yes, a problem! 

 

Well, that´s not the topic discussed here - so you might have added that you are talking about something else - or about Anthem only.

As you know things can always be different in the UK, Europe, Greece...

Edited by Miaminice
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I am still stunned at this point since we are pretty far into this pandemic that they haven't come up with a fast 5 min PCR test.  That would solve a lot of these issues.  Then the timing thing would be irrelevant since they could just do it quickly at the port.

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Just now, cscurlock said:

I am still stunned at this point since we are pretty far into this pandemic that they haven't come up with a fast 5 min PCR test.  That would solve a lot of these issues.  Then the timing thing would be irrelevant since they could just do it quickly at the port.

 

30-45 minutes... you just need the machines for it.

Some cruise ships have them on board. I know Celebrity´s cousin line TUI Germany has them on board.

 

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Harrylinden said:

What if we go 3 days before our cruise and the results aren't back on the day of departure? What then? It could happen!

 

Still time enough to do an antigen test... only takes a few minutes.

I am pretty sure they´d even have some at check-in by know.

 

Edited by Miaminice
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1 minute ago, cscurlock said:

I am still stunned at this point since we are pretty far into this pandemic that they haven't come up with a fast 5 min PCR test.

 

That just doesn't exist at the moment. Folks have been working on speeding up PCR for a long time, but 45 minutes is about as good as it gets, and that's just to run the reaction.  If you have to do any sort of washing (which you typically do from a swab), that adds time, as does analysis and whatever other logistics are involved

 

I used to do PCR tests (in a former life).  PCR (polymerase chain reaction) is "amplifying" genetic material (via replication) sort of in the same way your own cells do so.  It takes some time to do and analyze properly.  That's just biology. 

 

Frankly, I'm impressed that we can do "same day results" on a relatively inexpensive scale like we did yesterday (from swab to emailed results in under 8 hours).

 

6 minutes ago, zitsky said:

In the USA do most drugstores offer a test with same day results?  I worry about results being late.

 

Some may, but I wouldn't say "most."  We did a Google search and found a number of labs that guarantee same-day results and went to one near our home.  We may be fortunate in that regard, as we're in Houston where there is a large medical presence.

 

8 minutes ago, Miaminice said:

 

30-45 minutes... you just need the machines for it.

Some cruise ships have them on board. I know Celebrity´s cousin line TUI Germany has them on board.

 

  

30-45 minutes is pushing it for PCR, and that's just running the reaction.  And you don't just need the machine (which is pretty pricey, by the way).  You need a little more facility than that.  I'm quite impressed that a cruise ship would have something like that on board! 

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, DCPIV said:

30-45 minutes is pushing it for PCR, and that's just running the reaction.  And you don't just need the machine (which is pretty pricey, by the way).  You need a little more facility than that.  I'm quite impressed that a cruise ship would have something like that on board! 

 

Pricey yes!
But you don´t really need much more. They work with test cartridges.

TUI have (had) machines for 2 tests at a time and they still took a bit more than 50 minutes when we were on board and they had to test some people. The doctor said something like 53 minutes.
Since that was a few months ago already, they might have some newer machines on other ships now.

By now there are a few manufacturers selling machines faster and capable of doing more at a time - I believe 6-8. Qiagen is one of them. I think I remember AEG as well...

Edited by Miaminice
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A few weeks ago we booked a Reflection cruise departing on January 19.  A ten night out of FLL with 5 sea days.  For us, a chance to get away from the cold northern winter and enjoy some warm weather.  We don't really care about the islands, although it might be nice to spend one day on a beach.  We are vaccinated and thought that much of this would be better by January.  Now, I am sorry we booked it.  When I see a tv interview with nurses who are given a list of FACTS showing numbers of people hospitalized and dying who are unvaccinated and numbers of people who are vaccinated with no serious side effects, and many other FACTS and DATA showing the efficacy of the vaccines, and then their response is "Are they really facts?", then I am totally doubting that things are going to improve.

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20 minutes ago, Miaminice said:

 

Pricey yes!
But you don´t really need much more. They work with test cartridges.

TUI have (had) machines for 2 tests at a time and they still took a bit more than 50 minutes when we were on board and they had to test some people. The doctor said something like 53 minutes.
Since that was a few months ago already, they might have some newer machines on other ships now.

By now there are a few manufacturers selling machines faster and capable of doing more at a time - I believe 6-8. Qiagen is one of them. I think I remember AEG as well...

 

You brought back a lot of memories when you mentioned Qiagin.  I used so many Qiagen kits in that former life that I actually used some of our meager savings to buy Qiagen stock (and that worked out very well).  53 minutes is a very nice turnaround time! 

 

However, I don't think it's going to get a whole lot faster than that anytime soon unless we get much more sensitive analytical gear that allows for fewer PCR cycles in order to get accurate results.  Right now, they have to run something like 40 cycles in order to ensure acceptable accuracy. 

 

Doing 2 tests at a time (or even 8 at a time) with a 53 minute turnaround would work fine when you have isolated cases, such a symptomatic individual on board or some B2B passengers.  It will not work for the entire passenger load at the pier, though.

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2 minutes ago, DCPIV said:

Doing 2 tests at a time (or even 8 at a time) with a 53 minute turnaround would work fine when you have isolated cases, such a symptomatic individual on board or some B2B passengers.  It will not work for the entire passenger load at the pier, though.

 

That, unfortunately, is true... even 35 minutes with only 8 at a time would delay things.

MSC used (or maybe still use)  antigen tests at the pier and reconfirm any positives with a similar PCR machine. That´s also a pragmatic posibility. 

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5 minutes ago, Miaminice said:

MSC used (or maybe still use)  antigen tests at the pier and reconfirm any positives with a similar PCR machine. That´s also a pragmatic posibility.

 

The issue with that is the degree of inaccuracy of the antigen test for those that are asymptomatic.  It's rather large.  I'm all for eliminating false positives in order to get healthy folks on board.  However, if you want to keep COVID off the ship, false negatives are the larger problem.

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1 hour ago, zitsky said:

In the USA do most drugstores offer a test with same day results?  I worry about results being late.

Walgreens does….going today just to be sure for my cruise tomorrow.   I did have to wait for appointment tho.    

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