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pre cruise PCR test


MarkE
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2 hours ago, Jim_Iain said:

You have me laughing.   My husband is a Scot and some of the Scottish shows he pulls up I have to put TeleText on to understand.  

OMG, so funny!!  Not 30 minutes ago, I tried watching the movie "Robert the Bruce" and gave up after 10 minutes.  Sorry, Scots! 🤣

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1 hour ago, YoPhilly said:

OMG, so funny!!  Not 30 minutes ago, I tried watching the movie "Robert the Bruce" and gave up after 10 minutes.  Sorry, Scots! 🤣

 

His Aunt has one of the broadest Sctot accent I have ever heard.   When I first met her I just kept smiling and eventually she looked at me and said..... You can't understand a word I'm saying aren't you.   When I acknowledged she laughed and then tried to explain what she had just said.  I just kept smiling.    30 years later I have no trouble understanding her at all.  

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3 hours ago, Fouremco said:

No, it was a well thought out response to a very significant surge of the Coronavirus and its more contagious variants. While there is no doubt that the implementation was rushed and handled poorly, the testing requirement itself makes a great deal of sense. The cruise industry is still trying to correct the image of cruise ships being floating petrie dishes, so cruise lines will continue to introduce protocols that will hopefully not only minimize cases aboard but will be seen by the general public as a step in that direction.

I agree with your comments.  I do think, though, they could have taken a few days to better organize the process and not have been much (if any) worse off.  What the cruise lines really need to do is to develop a contract with a testing company where people who are unable to easily find tests near their home can test at or near the pier.  There are many reasonably reliable tests these days that have very short turn-around times.  In fact, as those tests are "live"(i.e., not 72 hours before) it would be an even more accurate way to ensure Covid stays off their ships.  Not a 100% guarantee, but better.  If nothing else, they could offer it at the pier for a reasonable fee if that's what it takes. 

 

I think many of us would be much less stressed if we knew there was a back-up option if our tests could not be done in time.  I myself am sweating out testing for our upcoming Alaska cruise as we are flying in a couple of days before.  I hope against hope I can find a rapid test near my home late in the day before I fly out!  Then several months from now I have a 'continuous' cruise - that being getting off one X ship and on another the same day.  If testing is still required, I don't know how in the heck I can make that work unless Celebrity is willing to test me on the first cruise.

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This is an email I received from Celebrity in response to an email I sent last week:

 

Hello,

 

Thank you for your response to my email I have updated your information. 

 

At this time testing is required prior to arrival for all guests over the age of two. Unfortunately we don’t have a testing facility at the pier you will have to make arrangements pre sailing. We are allowing PCR OR Antigen testing. While most PCR tests do require 24-48 hours, antigen tests are usually given results same day often within 15 minutes. 

 

The information they have given us states the test must be taken within 72 hours of embarkation. We have been advised that as long as it was done the 3 days before it will be accepted at the pier. I would suggest maybe doing your test as late in the day as possible if it would make you more comfortable. 

 

If you don’t have your test results prior to boarding unfortunately you may be denied boarding. 

 

Thank you,

 

Rachel Nye

Celebrity Cruises Reservation Representative

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4 minutes ago, biggerbearmom said:

This is an email I received from Celebrity in response to an email I sent last week:

 

Hello,

 

Thank you for your response to my email I have updated your information. 

 

At this time testing is required prior to arrival for all guests over the age of two. Unfortunately we don’t have a testing facility at the pier you will have to make arrangements pre sailing. We are allowing PCR OR Antigen testing. While most PCR tests do require 24-48 hours, antigen tests are usually given results same day often within 15 minutes. 

 

The information they have given us states the test must be taken within 72 hours of embarkation. We have been advised that as long as it was done the 3 days before it will be accepted at the pier. I would suggest maybe doing your test as late in the day as possible if it would make you more comfortable. 

 

If you don’t have your test results prior to boarding unfortunately you may be denied boarding. 

 

Thank you,

 

Rachel Nye

Celebrity Cruises Reservation Representative

Is there a place where celebrity notes all authorized pcr and antigen tests? Is an antigen rapid at Walgreens accepted?  Thanks!

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12 minutes ago, maggieq said:

Is there a place where celebrity notes all authorized pcr and antigen tests? Is an antigen rapid at Walgreens accepted?  Thanks!

Walgreens has 3 tests, but which ones are available at a given retail location varies.  Of the three, ONLY the IDNow version test is not accepted. 

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2 minutes ago, phoenix_dream said:

I agree with your comments.  I do think, though, they could have taken a few days to better organize the process and not have been much (if any) worse off. 

No argument from me. I've said from the beginning that the decision to test deserved an A+ grade, but the implementation deserved no better than an F. Not only should it have been delayed by a week to give time to think things through properly, but to give passengers time to adjust.

 

I don't know how long Celebrity plans on testing, but I suspect that they view it, at least initially, as a short-term requirement. Consequently, I doubt that they'd contract a company to set up testing facilities close to piers in all of its US ports. That said, I hope that this whole issue is currently under ongoing review, with thought being given to the types of issues that have been raised here.

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3 hours ago, biggerbearmom said:

This is an email I received from Celebrity in response to an email I sent last week:

 

Hello,

 

Thank you for your response to my email I have updated your information. 

 

At this time testing is required prior to arrival for all guests over the age of two. Unfortunately we don’t have a testing facility at the pier you will have to make arrangements pre sailing. We are allowing PCR OR Antigen testing. While most PCR tests do require 24-48 hours, antigen tests are usually given results same day often within 15 minutes. 

 

The information they have given us states the test must be taken within 72 hours of embarkation. We have been advised that as long as it was done the 3 days before it will be accepted at the pier. I would suggest maybe doing your test as late in the day as possible if it would make you more comfortable. 

 

If you don’t have your test results prior to boarding unfortunately you may be denied boarding. 

 

Thank you,

 

Rachel Nye

Celebrity Cruises Reservation Representative

This answer is certainly lacking certainty. Here’s my answer, but take it late in the day as possible ……That response definitely does not make me feel confident.  Why in the world can’t they give a consistent, definitive answer?!? 

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13 hours ago, lj77346 said:

While the chart provided by Celebrity in the UK is clear and helpful, with demand for Covid testing high now, there is no guarantee that labs will have results within 3 days.

 

Before I get flamed for my next comment, let me say that I am fully vaccinated and wear a mask when I'm in an indoor setting that is likely to be crowded.  Now for my comment - I wonder how well thought out Celebrity's new policy for pre-cruise testing was or was it just a knee jerk reaction to a few cases of Covid on their ships?  If a cruise is for fully vaccinated passengers and there is a belief that the vaccines are effective, is this policy an over reaction?

 

Even if everyone is tested 3 days prior to a cruise, there is no guarantee that someone could not pick up an infection in the days after a test especially in their trip involves a flight to catch the cruise.

 

Now that the delta-variant is a problem in many areas, there is also the question of whether limited testing resources should be used for people who want to go on a cruise or for people who are actually ill and/or were exposed to someone with Covid? 

 

I have an upcoming Alaska cruise on the Millennium that I am considering cancelling, not because I am against testing per se, but I am against unnecessary testing.  You either believe that the Covid vaccine is effective and will prevent serious cases or not and apparently Celebrity by its actions has chosen or not.

 

 

 

Your correct, it's a knee jerk reaction that isn't likely to be very effective.  For most people the most significant risk of exposure will be during traveling to the cruise or in several of the port cities in Florida or Texas that have high rates of exposure.  Most people will be testing at home before they leave or as soon as they get to the port city and this will not detect infections from these higher risk areas.

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Royal Caribbean put out a pretty clear FAQ that Celebrity really needs to replicate as soon as possible. The two lines don't always match up, but this clears up almost all of the questions surrounding pre-cruising tests.

 

https://www.royalcaribbean.com/faq/questions/if-need-an-rt-pcr-test-before-i-cruise-where-should-i-go

 

 

Screen Shot 2021-08-07 at 7.52.32 AM.png

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21 minutes ago, Jeremiah1212 said:

Royal Caribbean put out a pretty clear FAQ that Celebrity really needs to replicate as soon as possible. The two lines don't always match up, but this clears up almost all of the questions surrounding pre-cruising tests.

 

https://www.royalcaribbean.com/faq/questions/if-need-an-rt-pcr-test-before-i-cruise-where-should-i-go

 

 

Screen Shot 2021-08-07 at 7.52.32 AM.png

That is exactly what celebrity needs to do.  Thanks for posting.  Assuming the rapid antigen will be the preferred testing due to timing of results.  

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10 minutes ago, Jeremiah1212 said:

Royal Caribbean put out a pretty clear FAQ that Celebrity really needs to replicate as soon as possible. The two lines don't always match up, but this clears up almost all of the questions surrounding pre-cruising tests.

 

https://www.royalcaribbean.com/faq/questions/if-need-an-rt-pcr-test-before-i-cruise-where-should-i-go

 

 

Screen Shot 2021-08-07 at 7.52.32 AM.png

Well done RCI. Thanks @Jeremiah1212.

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For common requirements like pre-cruise testing, and what is acceptable, the corporation (RCG) should standardize it for all of their cruise lines (RCCL, Celebrity, Silversea) and issue one FAQ.  Too simple?

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2 minutes ago, TeeRick said:

For common requirements like pre-cruise testing, and what is acceptable, the corporation (RCG) should standardize it for all of their cruise lines (RCCL, Celebrity, Silversea) and issue one FAQ.  Too simple?

No, too logical. Unfortunately, I believe that the CEOs like to operate with a great deal of autonomy, even if it means that each line is devoting resources to do something that everyone else is doing.

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19 hours ago, Fouremco said:

No, it was a well thought out response to a very significant surge of the Coronavirus and its more contagious variants. While there is no doubt that the implementation was rushed and handled poorly, the testing requirement itself makes a great deal of sense. The cruise industry is still trying to correct the image of cruise ships being floating petrie dishes, so cruise lines will continue to introduce protocols that will hopefully not only minimize cases aboard but will be seen by the general public as a step in that direction.

I also hope, though I doubt it will happen because of the need for cooperation from the cruise line, that someone is studying the transmission before and after testing starts. What would be great would be if researchers could actually interview positive persons and see what their symptoms were, but that’s a level of informed consent that won’t happen.

So far this week on Equinox, we haven’t heard of any cases.

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49 minutes ago, Jeremiah1212 said:

Royal Caribbean put out a pretty clear FAQ that Celebrity really needs to replicate as soon as possible. The two lines don't always match up, but this clears up almost all of the questions surrounding pre-cruising tests.

 

https://www.royalcaribbean.com/faq/questions/if-need-an-rt-pcr-test-before-i-cruise-where-should-i-go

 

 

Screen Shot 2021-08-07 at 7.52.32 AM.png

Be aware that is a list of NAAT tests from the FDA that got EUAs and includes Abbott IDNow which several have posted is not acceptable to Celebrity. 
I don’t know if IDNow is or isn’t acceptable, it should be and RCL should standardize the policy across brands, especially if it is extended past Sept. Just a heads up. I scrolled through the list from professional curiosity.

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4 minutes ago, cangelmd said:

I also hope, though I doubt it will happen because of the need for cooperation from the cruise line, that someone is studying the transmission before and after testing starts. What would be great would be if researchers could actually interview positive persons and see what their symptoms were, but that’s a level of informed consent that won’t happen.

So far this week on Equinox, we haven’t heard of any cases.

Yes agree that virus transmission on cruise ships needs detailed documentation and study!  I understand there is a detailed case study that CDC is using of Delta variant transmission in Provincetown, MA in vaccinated people over the July 4th party weekend.  But are they basing all of their recent decisions for the vaccinated population on primarily one case study and some other anecdotal evidence here and there?  Since June there have been just a handful of cases (positive tests primarily) on cruise ships.  No outbreaks or serious cases.  That is the actual real world data so far for cruising anyway on 95-100% fully vaccinated ships.  Even with Delta everywhere in the USA.    Until now there has been no pre-cruise testing and no onboard masking.  Very limited cases and really no transmission on board and they don't even know the cases are Delta.

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5 minutes ago, TeeRick said:

Yes agree that virus transmission on cruise ships needs detailed documentation and study!  I understand there is a detailed case study that CDC is using of Delta variant transmission in Provincetown, MA in vaccinated people over the July 4th party weekend.  But are they basing all of their recent decisions for the vaccinated population on primarily one case study and some other anecdotal evidence here and there?  Since June there have been just a handful of cases (positive tests primarily) on cruise ships.  No outbreaks or serious cases.  That is the actual real world data so far for cruising anyway on 95-100% fully vaccinated ships.  Even with Delta everywhere in the USA.    Until now there has been no pre-cruise testing and no onboard masking.  Very limited cases and really no transmission on board and they don't even know the cases are Delta.

When I get home, I’m going to pull the Provincetown study and CDC comments, my understanding was what set them off was the 74% of the symptomatic positive cases were in vaccinated persons. But how many people were tested? How sick were they? Was there transmission to unvaccinated people? Hospitalization? Lots of details. I think there were lots of tightly packed people and lots of partying, not unlike a cruise ship, but not like Celeb right now.

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19 minutes ago, cangelmd said:

When I get home, I’m going to pull the Provincetown study and CDC comments, my understanding was what set them off was the 74% of the symptomatic positive cases were in vaccinated persons. But how many people were tested? How sick were they? Was there transmission to unvaccinated people? Hospitalization? Lots of details. I think there were lots of tightly packed people and lots of partying, not unlike a cruise ship, but not like Celeb right now.

Your questions piqued my interest. I will be reading up on this too. I wonder what the percentage of people vaccinated / not vaccinated  is for people living or vacationing in Provincetown is? If a vast  majority included in the study were vaccinated, then that 74% isn't surprising. And as you said, are these just positives or seriously ill positives?

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41 minutes ago, cangelmd said:

Be aware that is a list of NAAT tests from the FDA that got EUAs and includes Abbott IDNow which several have posted is not acceptable to Celebrity. 
I don’t know if IDNow is or isn’t acceptable, it should be and RCL should standardize the policy across brands, especially if it is extended past Sept. Just a heads up. I scrolled through the list from professional curiosity.

 

This is Royal Caribbean not Celebrity. I do not see any reason why the two lines would have different  protocols when it comes to test themselves. Different procedures and systems? Sure, but this portion should carry across all lines. 

 

Their FAQ does say "Two types of viral tests are accepted: NAAT tests (PCR is a common type of NAAT test) and antigen tests." 

 

The website itself says "All guests age 2 and older — regardless of vaccination status — will need to take a COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen)"

 

Additional clarity and consistency is definitely needed. I did raise this to my Celebrity sales person to pass along. We'll see what they tweak in the next few days. IMO if you showed up with a NAAT test I don't think anyone would bat an eye, but I wouldn't necessarily want to be the first person to try. 

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28 minutes ago, cangelmd said:

When I get home, I’m going to pull the Provincetown study and CDC comments, my understanding was what set them off was the 74% of the symptomatic positive cases were in vaccinated persons. But how many people were tested? How sick were they? Was there transmission to unvaccinated people? Hospitalization? Lots of details. I think there were lots of tightly packed people and lots of partying, not unlike a cruise ship, but not like Celeb right now.

Here is a pretty good balanced article on the situation if you have time to read it.  It addresses most of your questions.  So far no evidence of this happening on cruise ships sailing now.  The devil is in the details always but nobody bothers with them.  I also included the CDC MMWR Report.

 

Data as reported in the reference:

"According to the report, of the 469 people included in the study who were in the area between July 3 and July 17 and tested positive for the coronavirus, 74% were fully vaccinated. A total of five people were hospitalized, four of them vaccinated, and there were no deaths. 90% of the subset of people (133) who had sequencing performed on their samples were infected with the delta variant."

 

Estimated population locally at that time over 60,000 people.

 

So 74% of 469 positive tests were from fully vaccinated (or 347 people).

Of the 347 vaccinated cases, 4 were hospitalized.    And 2 of these 4 were reported to have underlying medical conditions.  Pretty good vaccine efficacy against COVID hospitalizations in the infected cases as expected.

 

https://www.factcheck.org/2021/08/scicheck-posts-misinterpret-cdcs-provincetown-covid-19-outbreak-report/

 

CDC report:

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7031e2.htm?s_cid=mm7031e2_w

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19 minutes ago, Smmessineo said:

Your questions piqued my interest. I will be reading up on this too. I wonder what the percentage of people vaccinated / not vaccinated  is for people living or vacationing in Provincetown is? If a vast  majority included in the study were vaccinated, then that 74% isn't surprising. And as you said, are these just positives or seriously ill positives?

A very high percentage of the people living in the Provincetown area are fully vaccinated according to the article. 

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16 hours ago, phoenix_dream said:

I agree with your comments.  I do think, though, they could have taken a few days to better organize the process and not have been much (if any) worse off.  What the cruise lines really need to do is to develop a contract with a testing company where people who are unable to easily find tests near their home can test at or near the pier.  There are many reasonably reliable tests these days that have very short turn-around times.  In fact, as those tests are "live"(i.e., not 72 hours before) it would be an even more accurate way to ensure Covid stays off their ships.  Not a 100% guarantee, but better.  If nothing else, they could offer it at the pier for a reasonable fee if that's what it takes. 

 

I think many of us would be much less stressed if we knew there was a back-up option if our tests could not be done in time.  I myself am sweating out testing for our upcoming Alaska cruise as we are flying in a couple of days before.  I hope against hope I can find a rapid test near my home late in the day before I fly out!  Then several months from now I have a 'continuous' cruise - that being getting off one X ship and on another the same day.  If testing is still required, I don't know how in the heck I can make that work unless Celebrity is willing to test me on the first cruise.

This is the issue for most, flying in before a cruise and somehow squeezing in a test that you may or may not have results for by the time your plane lands.

 

Testing at the pier eliminates this very real concern and there'd be very few threads going on this.  

 

Health checks before sailing are not new, they were required for "steerage" back in the day and always done at the pier.

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41 minutes ago, TeeRick said:

A very high percentage of the people living in the Provincetown area are fully vaccinated according to the article. 

I found that article, too. It seems panicky of the CDC and others down the line ( like cruise industry) that protocols are being changed for vaccinated people based on a small study that seems to confirm that vaccinations help greatly! Frustrating!

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43 minutes ago, atexsix said:

 

 

Testing at the pier eliminates this very real concern and there'd be very few threads going on this.  

 


Have you seen the threads when boarding is slow? That also causes all sorts of drama and complaining.

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