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When will RC make the reveal for Nov/Dec 2020?


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Any guesses on when Royal will make the big reveal on whether ships will sail in November/December 2020?
 

It’s less than 30 days from November 1st, and based on prior cancellations by Royal, we should have had Royal’s decision about November (at the very least) by now. 

Bored Over It GIFI am still hoping that my Thanksgiving Oasis cruise is a go but I have been holding off on confirming other plans (like car rental, hotel for night before, etc.) until we get official word from Royal that things are a go.

I would even be ok with Royal saying we are still waiting for the green light from the CDC but here are the ships we plan to deploy (or not deploy) for our start up phase. Thoughts? 

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My guess is they are waiting on the meeting that was scheduled for Friday but delayed.

Right now the CDC has made it clear they want to postpone cruising in which case Nov/Dec is out of Royal's hands ... but if the CDC isnt allowed to extend the ban then they will have a small slate of cruises they hope to run in Nov ... but dont want to announce until they know they can.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, jticarruthers said:

but if the CDC isnt allowed to extend the ban then they will have a small slate of cruises they hope to run in Nov ...

If that’s the case and they only have a small slate (based on what they e said before, short cruises, etc..) then cancel the others. 7 night sailings don’t look probable for November so let those people know. 

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20 minutes ago, Andrew72681 said:

If that’s the case and they only have a small slate (based on what they e said before, short cruises, etc..) then cancel the others. 7 night sailings don’t look probable for November so let those people know. 

Keep in mind the healthy sail panel classified “short cruises” as those less than 10 days

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18 minutes ago, Andrew72681 said:

If that’s the case and they only have a small slate (based on what they e said before, short cruises, etc..) then cancel the others. 7 night sailings don’t look probable for November so let those people know. 

That's my issue with them now.  We're scheduled for Nov 1.  We would really like to know as there are logistical items for us to handle.  Are they trying to make us cancel so they save the 25% FCC bonus if they cancel.

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1 hour ago, Scooter6251 said:

That's my issue with them now.  We're scheduled for Nov 1.  We would really like to know as there are logistical items for us to handle.  Are they trying to make us cancel so they save the 25% FCC bonus if they cancel.

Yeah, I’m on November 8th on Oasis so in the same boat. Was supposed to be our first star class experience, but we know from others, no one from the 11/1 sailings or 11/4 Oasis 4 night (all of which are under the 30 days) have received their questionnaires. And many of the families stay in contact with the Genie’s and so far none have been recalled. 

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Trump becoming infected with the virus has mucked up what I believe was a White House plan, w/Pence in the lead,  to allow cruise lines to begin to prepare for a November 1st restart. That restart to be on the limited basis we are all familiar with.  Before that, I thought there was a very good chance we'd have a reduced number of sailings in November with those gradually expanding in December. Now chances of that look slim ...... unless the WH reconvenes the meeting with cruise execs this coming week. A meeting might foreshadow a restart; the lack of a meeting probably means doom.

The resumption of cruising in Europe and Asia, pressures resulting from the sheer economics of the Caribbean travel industry to re-open Caribbean ports, are positives. That ports are already open in Europe and might open in the Caribbean would allow the major cruise lines that have ships in warm-storage in adjacent waters there an opportunity to assemble crew. From there they could conduct training and proof-of-concept trial runs with employees acting as passengers. Those could occur before repositioning ships in European and Caribbean waters to North American ports once they are opened.

Keep in mind, we're talking about only a very few ships actually doing something like this as the logistics of such a plan are complex. It could take months to get even one-half of the global fleet of cruise ships operational. As well, the complexity of opening ports and anchorages and then deconflicting itineraries to lessen crowding in those places to be visited is considerable.

The timing though is becoming critical and as the days in October pass by, hope for a North American restart in November will fade. 

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The White House has basically just proven that testing isn't an effective mitigation step to stop the spread.  So what does that mean for cruise lines that were counting on testing to be an important step in making cruising safe?   With the current situation with the President's infection will the WH still stand up to the CDC?  Only time will tell.  

If I was a cruise line I'd be hesitant to begin bringing thousands of crew back for two ships until there was an absolute green light from the CDC or CV Task Force that a restart is a sure thing.  

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33 minutes ago, twangster said:

The White House has basically just proven that testing isn't an effective mitigation step to stop the spread.  So what does that mean for cruise lines that were counting on testing to be an important step in making cruising safe?   With the current situation with the President's infection will the WH still stand up to the CDC?  Only time will tell.  

If I was a cruise line I'd be hesitant to begin bringing thousands of crew back for two ships until there was an absolute green light from the CDC or CV Task Force that a restart is a sure thing.  

Perfectly put

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44 minutes ago, twangster said:

The White House has basically just proven that testing isn't an effective mitigation step to stop the spread.

Given the "ambivalence" shown towards other methods of mitigation I think it's more accurate to say that they've shown that testing as the near sole means of mitigation isn't effective.  There's ample evidence towards its effectiveness as a step when included with other measures recommended and enacted by other countries / sailing cruises.

That said, I do agree the your last statement.  Despite my delusional hopes I don't really expect to see cruises back until Spring, for a multitude of reasons.

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Twangster, I think you're right from a political standpoint but probably not from a factual and practical one.

The infection of President Trump with SARS-CoV-2 does not disprove the efficacy of testing. Not even close. Testing is absolutely fundamental, as a layered measure, for virus control and thinking it's not is foolhardy and counterproductive. I don't think you were implying this. Others who have just posted were.

From the beginning, the WH has been dismissive of the virus. Cruise lines? No - they have very seriously addressed every aspect of its impact and probably more completely than any organization that features congregate settings.

As a reflection of that dismissiveness, masks were rarely worn in side or around the WH. I expect cruise lines to enforce masking rules while aboard ship and in public areas, unlike the WH. Most importantly the WH relied on the Abbot product known as ID-NOW that was released with great promise in March. We saw the device in one of Trump's press conferences when he bragged about it. As early as April, labs using the device were reporting high false negative rates necessitating confirmatory RT-PCR, Molecular tests to rule COVID in or out. Abbot claims that inappropriate sampling and testing too soon after infection was the problem, not the device itself. The ID-NOW product works but (it detects antibodies), the company says, only 7d after becoming infected. That's a lot of time for the purpose the WH was using it or for the purposes the cruise lines would test. 

As far as I know, this Abbot ID-NOW device continued to be used by the WH, despite it's limitations, to insure the president did not come in contact with COVID positive people. I don't know what the testing regimen was for staff in terms of frequency. I do know that everyone visiting the president is tested before seeing him in person and I assume they used the Abbot Labs ID-NOW device. I also know that not everyone was tested that attended Judge Barrett's nominating events and social gatherings in DC. It was hit or miss, typical of the attitude the WH routinely displayed with Trump leading the way with his dismissiveness. One simply cannot use the WH's expereince with infections of key support staff or super-spreader events associated with the Barrett nomination in DC and generalize it to all congregate events, including cruising. 

There's dozens of manufacturers producing FDA approved COVID testing products. They utilize various testing mechanisms to do that. The newest, with sensitivity and specificity for detecting COVID having accuracy > 95%, are the rapid antigen tests. Abbot Labs has one called BINAX-NOW. It detects antigens, or the components of SARS-CoV-2, not the antibodies to it. There's no time delays. If you become infected with the virus BINAX-NOW (and other similar products) will detect it.  It's also easy to use and the testing device is packaged in a cassette about the size of a credit card. If you've ever been tested for Influenza A/B, you've seen on e of these. It's this type of test that I presume the cruise lines would use for passengers and onboard surveillance, possibly other RT/PCR products for crew. Each type of testing device has it's own unique capabilities.

The point here is that COVID testing is complex. Details are important. Hot-takes are usually wrong.     

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57 minutes ago, JeffB said:

Twangster, I think you're right from a political standpoint but probably not from a factual and practical one.

The president is a self proclaimed germaphobe.  He is more isolated than most and access is carefully controlled.  They use the best filtration our money can buy and social distance is all but guaranteed.

The SCOTUS announcement that has the appearance of being a spreading event was outdoors.  Cruise lines aren't requiring masks around the pool because it's outdoors.  Guests will at times have moments when someone walks past or a drink is served when there won't be social distancing maintained just like the SCOTUS session in the Rose Garden.  

If the best protection in the world can't keep the president safe how will joe public stand a chance on a ship?  That is not a political viewpoint, it is a practical one.

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I assume your position is that you are opposed to restarting cruise line operations from US ports until the risk of becoming infected with SAR-CoV-2 is sufficiently reduced. Is that correct?

If it is, by what criteria would you be in favor of restarting cruise line operations?

These aren't questions designed to drag you into some kind of argument. You've been genuine and articulate in your positions in this thread. I'm interested in what your thinking is on this.

For reference, I have been a reopening advocate since it became apparent to me that significant reductions in infection risk to near zero - or driving measures of viral circulation, as defined by R(t), to < 0 and keeping it there - were unobtainable goals in the absence of a vaccine and herd immunity that follows.

I see the harm (cost) to the economy of business closures ostensibly implemented to reduce social mobility and viral spread have been and continue to be considerably higher than the public health benefits derived from such closures.

Therefore, the best approach in this pandemic is to layer mitigation measures, proven to derive public health benefit and appropriate to the specific circumstance within which they are to be applied, that are the least disruptive. At the same time returning to reasonable social and economic activity.

The risks of infection from the virus individuals are willing to take is a personal choice. That choice is made in the context of knowing that a congregate setting one wishes to enter is or is not enjoying appropriately layered and implemented mitigation measures as I defined them above.  

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I would love cruising to resume but that is a personal, emotional viewpoint.  

The CDC continues to express concern of the combined effects of the upcoming flu season overlaid with the pandemic.  Their position hasn't changed even if their cruise ship order was overridden last week.  The CDC defines the peak of flu season as being December through February.  The CDC proposed extension was through February 2021 which coincides with the end of the peak flu season.   There appears to be logic and science behind their approach, it wasn't just some arbitrary date.  

From a political viewpoint the WH hasn't always followed CDC guidance and the the results have proven costly in terms of political capital.  Before the president became infected it was relatively easy and consistent for the task force to oppose the CDC and reverse it's desire to extend the cruising ban into 2021. 

The political landscape changed once POTUS caught the virus.  It's 4 weeks to an election and POTUS isn't out on the campaign trail.  He can't.  That has caused the VP to shift his focus and put more effort into the election.  As a result he won't have his focus on activities like meeting with the cruise industry.

At the moment it's all about undecided voters.  Decided voters have already cast their vote in their head.  Can they swing undecided voters by overriding the CDC so that cruise ships can sail?  My thoughts are no.  There is a lot of risk putting their necks out and going against the CDC in the wake of the POTUS catching the virus.  Another public display stymying the CDC for cruise ships which have a pretty negative connotation as it relates to the pandemic looks like political suicide.   Given that resources are so thin now with Pence on the campaign trail during Trump's absence will the significant political capital spent to go against the CDC help their election effort?   I think it could cause undecided to lean left and such a brazen tactic such as allowing cruising to commence could even be the last straw that swings some decided voters against them.

The campaign has so little time left.  They need to be very diligent choosing where to spend political capital.   I just don't see that helping the cruise industry right now, that can't be a priority activity that's going to help them win the election.  

I personally believe that individuals should have choices so long as it doesn't create undue burden on society.  The CDC might be right about the upcoming flu season combined with the pandemic stretching healthcare resources very thin.  A repeat of a Diamond or Grand Princess outbreak during flu season in a pandemic could be the straw that breaks the proverbial camel's back.  On the other hand I'm hoping that with increased handwashing, hand sanitizer use and the mask use that is occuring in society right now it might lead to one of the lowest flu seasons we've experienced lately.  I have no hard data to support that theory, it's just a hope.  The problem is we won't know until February or March.  

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14 hours ago, Andrew72681 said:

If that’s the case and they only have a small slate (based on what they e said before, short cruises, etc..) then cancel the others. 7 night sailings don’t look probable for November so let those people know. 

I'm on one of those 7 nighters, in fact on the first ,,, I've talked a few of RCL agents on other things recently and slip this cruise in the conversations. They have all told me its looking like a go. In the past on the ones that did end up cancelling, they were more apprehensive about them actually going. I did a lift and shift for part of our group on it just a few days ago and they were curious why, as its still being shown as a go.

 

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Thanks for your response, Twangster. Fair points.

If I'm understanding you correctly, it is your view that the CDC provided a reasonable basis - a combination of an ongoing pandemic with the flu season - to support an extension of the No-Sail-Order through February 2021. 

My problem with the CDC's position is that they are basing the order to shutter the cruise industry on presumptions. If they do offer data (facts), we are being misled by them. The public is being fed a narrative that depicts the virus' public health impact on new daily case numbers. That they are rising is therefore an absolute indicator that community spread of the virus is uncontrolled everywhere and disease burden is increasing. That is false.

Some, not all of the increase in new case numbers, is a result of increased testing. While the presence of the virus may be increasing, the disease impact on US public health isn't. Proxy measures of that to include Case Fatality Rate (CFR), ED visits for flu or COVID like symptoms, hospital admissions, ventilator use are all downward trending.  IOW, we are getting much better dealing with the virus and managing vulnerable populations that do get infected and need to be treated in a hospital setting.

Percent positivity is a good measure of regional community spread. It varies by state and county with some places dealing with temporarily high positivity rates. In the Tri-County region of South Florida daily rates have held at or below 5% for three weeks with exceptions in Miami-Dade county being in the 6% range. I can list thousands of counties throughout the US that have positivty rates below 5%. Yet, the public is fed cumulative state, not county, percent positivity which by it's nature is going to be higher and more ominous appearing than the much lower county daily rates. This is misleading.

Holding positivity rates to 5% is the CDC standard for indicating control of community spread. On a regional basis, including Florida counties where cruise ports are located, that is exactly what it is. How do we reconcile the CDC's basis for extending the No-Sail-Order with the reality that COVID disease impact on public health is low and in the places that matter community spread of the virus is controlled as measured by the CDC's own standard?  

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....... one other point, Twangster. I think you are correct that it is politically risky for the administration to allow the cruise industry to resume operations out of US ports. The press is going to murder Trump for doing that. I'm pretty sure that as Trump emerges from his bout with COVID-19 he is going to be reluctant to take any steps pertaining to the pandemic that his political opponents and the press could jump on. He may even admit he was wrong to be dismissive of it and demonstrate a new resolve to mitigate the spread of the virus. On top of his list of politically attractive things to do? Keep the cruise industry shut down.

That would be a step that is a purely political one and not based on the facts that I presented above. My view is that given the Safe-To-Sail Commission's report, congregate settings such as are typical on a cruise ship can be made safe - not entirely risk free - and that the resumption of that popular activity then becomes a personal choice not one inappropriately prevented by the CDC's over-reach. That purely political move does however resonate with the false narrative the media has unfortunately created and that I have steadfastly tried to demonstrate is misleading.  

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@twangster and @JeffB I personally really take notice when the two of you post your insights and predictions. I applaud the both of you for communicating with respect for one another and devoid the venom some on this venue spew. A huge thank you allowing me a ton of really educated information. 

We will continue to be loyal to Royal and look forward to our next cruise, having this back and forth helps me to have a better idea of the goings on outside of my bubble so to speak.  Kudos to you both, looking forward to safely sailing soon.

stay cool thank you GIF

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1 hour ago, JeffB said:

My problem with the CDC's position is that they are basing the order to shutter the cruise industry on presumptions. 

Agreed.  On the flip side that is their job.

The problem with science based projections that are used to shape policy and introduce mitigation is that you will never know if the original projections without any mitigations would have been accurate.  Once you implement any form of mitigation the projection is invalid and has to be recalculated.  It's like trying to predict what life would be like if you marry different people.  Faced with a choice of marrying different people what will life be like for each choice?  The only way to know is to actually make a choice but once that choice has been made there is no way to know what life would have been like had you chosen differently.  That's the impossible job the CDC has to do.

The CDC doesn't know everything.  The world is still learning about this virus.  They only have projections to leverage to guide them.  It seems like if numbers can be held to a certain level there is a linear equilibrium that results but once numbers creep past a specific point the spread quickly becomes exponential.  For months we've heard warnings of a fall spike or second wave.  Will that occur?  We will only know in hindsight.  The CDC moves forward trying to keep us in the linear area but the public second guesses and based on the linear results observed the public incorrectly makes projections based on a linear trajectory.  

Perhaps the CDC should have allowed cruise ships to operate through the summer but declared that they will have to shut down again once the second wave is proven to be upon us in the fall.  Cruise lines could have generated some revenue and workers in support industries would have income even if only for a few months.  That's hindsight talking though now that we have actual data from the summer to look at.  Perhaps if the CDC had done that it would have gone exponential and the public would be crying foul and blaming them for allowing cruise ships to operate with hindsight to prove their point.

The CDC has an impossible job to do.  No matter what call they make it will be wrong from someone's perspective and we will never know what could have been if we had taken a different path.

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