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JeffB

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  1. They clearly did. I just read the ruling at the link. If I understand this it was Justice Thomas that got involved on the basis that the case was likely to be heard by the SCOTUS. I may not know the correct terms but he directed that the 11th COA's granting of CDC's appeal was unjustified on multiple grounds all of which parallel Judge Merryda's findings in his ruling. I'm not sure of this but it seems to me as of right now, the CSO is unenforceable in FL and probably TX. The Thomas ruling does not speak to Merryday's July 18th deadline for the the CDC to rewrite and resubmit the CSO to comport with their lawful authority to issue it.
  2. My take is close but a bit different than @dswallow. I believe the correct way to phrase this is FL's suit filed in April with the Middle Court of FL was based on 5 claims. The law suit asked the court to enjoin the CSO, Merryday heard oral arguments, allowed that FL won on the merits then stayed the requested injunction pending submission of a re-write of the CSO by the CDC for his approval. CDC didn't do that and instead filed an appeal of the Merryday ruling with the Merryday court and it was referred to the 11th USCOA. The 11th USCOA voted 2-1 to stay the Merryday injunction (and the requirement to submit a re-write of the CSO). FL then appealed. That appeal is pending a review by either the full panel of judges that sit on the USCOA or SCOTUS. A "preliminary injunction" is an injunction that may be granted before or during trial, with the goal of preserving the status quo before final judgment. Back to the question at hand ..... As I understand where things stand, a ruling in favor of FL in Judge Merryday's trial court (Middle District Court of FL) will only provide relief in the form of an injunction against HHS/CDC preventing them from enforcing any provisions of the CSO within the state of FL. Alaska initially filed a motion to join FL's law suit but withdrew it when their legal team was concerned about the threat that the CDC made that a win (enjoining the CSO) would upset the applecart with respect to the bill passed by Congress and signed by the President that authorized ships to sail from US ports, through Canadian waters, without stopping in a Canadian port (required in the ancient Jones Act). That's a convoluted outcome that I won't go into. TX filed a motion to join the FL suit also. https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/59804600/26/state-of-florida-v-becerra/ The decision on that motion was referred to a Magistrate Court. As far as I know, it was approved. TX alleged that it had different interests than FL (technical in nature involving the process of opening Texas ports compared to FL ports but they are still seeking relief from the CSO) so, I suspect they had to list those before the magistrate. I'm assuming those were approved. The net result therefore is that if Merryday rules in favor of FL, whatever interests TX listed in it's motion to join and whatever they are seeking as relief (I assume it is enjoining the CSO) would apply to TX as well. But that's it. TX and FL. To my knowledge no other ports or states have filed motions to join and they would have to do that to get immediate relief from the CSO and at the same time FL gained it. I would think a state that wanted to be relieved from compliance with the CSO could file to get it based on FL obtaining a win in their law suit after the fact but I'm not sure about that. What I have stressed in my posts on this topic is that a win by FL (and TX by joining) will have little impact on our cruise experiences from FL or TX ports. There will be no impact whatsoever on the other ports that RCL is sailing from. The CSO will apply, the two pathways to resume sailings will remain, the reporting and contract requirements will continue. That the cruise lines have basically complied with the CSO and some have already started sailings from US ports under the provisions of the CSO, as cruisers we may see some tweaks to our onboard experience but I think the greatest relief is for the onerous contract and reporting requirements that the lines have to deal with. I actually believe that in some form even without the CSO cruise lines would have done training sailings to work through the HSP protocols that the lines voluntarily implemented aboard ship before restarting revenue sailings. I also don't think things would have moved along any quicker than they have. To me, and I've posted this, a FL win strikes a blow to the concept of the administrative state that the US has dangerously become. As in the actions of HHS/CDC in issuing the NSO/CSO an executive agency of the US government, unaccountable to anyone including voters, made quasi laws usurping law making authority from the Congress, executive agencies besides HHS/CDC have done likewise. That needs to be curtailed.
  3. To confirm with @luvstodansyou'll need a passport if your cruise is from a foreign port that will require you to enter a foreign country. Just using my fingers you might squeak in the October 21 cruise. You can figure out exactly if your expiration date of the passport is inside 6 months of your return date of the cruise. I don't know if the State Department has reinstituted the expedited passport process. Last time I looked it was suspended except under specific circumstances. You should check their we site that has a passport section. Your options are limited here.
  4. Your post is a fair one. It's on topic re the courts so I'll respond and let the chips fall where they may: TBC, Judge Merryday absolutely has the authority to tell the CDC to "submit" a re-write. I didn't use order but even then pretty sure he can do that too. In his courtroom he has sweeping powers. Can he put someone in jail on the spot for say, contempt? Without a hearing, without due process? You bet he can. Asking the CDC to rewrite and resubmit their crappy CSO is several rungs up the ladder of easy for him to do. I also find it hard to understand that you didn't see that my concluding paragraphs speak exactly to your concerns about a "harm" that might come if Merryday rules against the CDC. I can imagine no harm that is done by this. In fact, I can imagine a ton of good. You may disagree and that's fine with me. What good that I think is at stake in all of this, and why Federal Judges are probably looking at this entire case very closely, is that it DOES have the potential to curtail the creeping administrative state this Republic has become and produced what I consider to be the unlawful NSO and CSO. Shutting down an entire industry - in this case the cruise lines - because the CDC knee-jerked into doing something that looked good? Come on. Please. A win for FL will have sweeping precedential effect beyond the narrow scope of the 5 parts of FL's claim. The CDC is in the cross hairs where a FL win will take away the authority of HHS and CDC administrators to make quasi laws that don't comport with the powers granted to them by Congress and/or impinge on constitutionally guaranteed freedoms - even in a PHE. A win for FL will reestablish a strong precedent that will apply to the entire spectrum of Federal agencies that have grown bloated and more powerful and presently their policy makers have no accountability to the voters. The forefathers are likely turning over in their graves and have been for several decades. A FL win will reestablish both proper oversight of such Federal agencies and prohibit further law making usurped by any of them restoring it back to Congress where it belongs
  5. Mask debates are going to get this thread that talks about important legal actions affecting our cruise experiences going forward shut down. Matt will be here soon if it doesn't stop, if he's not already seriously considering it.
  6. Good call @AshleyDillo. It's a possibility........ the pressure point though for the CDC is going to be FL's position re, first, the appeal of the lifting of the stay (to reinstate Merryday's July expiry date for the CSO) ongoing in the 11th Circuit USCOA and next the reality that Merryday ruled that FL won on the merits and then stayed the injunction. FL wants a favorable ruling on this (set aside the lifting of the stay) bad. There are no defaults for either party, as has been noted previously. There are two ongoing and unresolved court proceedings - one in the 11th Circuit of the USCOA not yet resolved where its removal of the Merryday' stay is being appealed by FL and one yet to be resolved (the original FL Complaint) in the USDC Middle Court of FL (Merryday's court). Here's how this is going to go down: The 11th Circuit USCOA will consider FL's appeal of the lifting of the stay - there are various options all the way up to the USSC of how this is done that I won't go into but one way or the other that ruling will either stand or be set aside. Whatever the outcome, it really has no bearing on the yet to be resolved FL complaint before Merryday's trial court. A ruling by the 11th Circuit USCOA that sets aside the lifting of the stay ruling in favor of FL's appeal would however sink the enforceability of the CSO in it's entirety. That is because Merryday's ruling that the CSO becomes recommendations only and is unenforceable stipulates that will happen on July 18th. That date has passed. Therefore his ruling becomes effective immediately. Once the appeals court resolves its matters at hand, either way, the FL suit is yet unresolved and Judge Merryday will reconvene to listen to what plaintiff's and defendant's attorneys have to say. At issue is the CDC's failure to submit as Judge Merryday stipulated, "the revised version of the CSO," that you mention. Guess who has the final say on whether or not the revisions submitted by the CDC are acceptable? FLs friend Judge Steven Douglas Merryday. The CDC does not have carte blanch to ride off into the sunset claiming "they did do something." First, as Merryday demanded, they have to submit a rewrite of the CSO that comports with existing law. Second, it will be up to Merryday if the rewrite is good to go and it's pretty clear he doesn't like the HHS/CDC attorneys who will be presenting the CDC's re-write and arguing their position before him. I think that potential hit for the CDC team has been pointed out too. The potential outcomes in the USDC that Merryday is presiding over are this: (1) Merryday lays the hammer on the CDC, tells them to go pack it and the CSO as it is currently written becomes unenforceable recommendations. (2) Merryday accepts a rewrite and it's over. The rewritten CSO that Merryday approved goes into affect I don't think there is any question that its around 40 to 20 with FL in the lead in the late third quarter and they have one quarter left to score three TDs while holding FL to no points and win. I don't think they can do it. I also don't think there is a worst case scenario for FL. I'd opine that they are in the driver's seat here. The impact for us cruisers and as it relates to our cruising experiences going forward is about zero. The outcomes are: The existing CSO remains in place - something the cruise lines have adapted to and, for the most part, complied with ...... or a potentially better CSO for the cruise lines that they can turn into a better guest experience emerges. I think the cruise lines have really played this smart. They didn't sit on their hands waiting for the outcome of the FL complaint. They reportedly worked with the CSO to get ships sailing in a way that satisfied the needs of both sides. The most significant outcome from the Merryday Court's final decision is that either way he decides on the FL claim, irrespective of an appeal by the CDC - and they will appeal - the CDC is being told in no uncertain terms that it acted unlawfully with both the NSO and the CSO. The net result will be legislative action - exactly where it should be - to curtail the powers of the CDC in a PHE. It was those executive powers, usurped from Congress, that allowed them to wrongly interpret that they had the power to issue the NSO and CSO. They will also face much more stringent oversight of all their powers in a PHE not just those embodied in U.S.C. 42, Section 264 dealing with maritime issues and free pratique.
  7. Just finished my check in for a last minute booking on Equinox departing PEV on August 1st. Its the front end (I just added the sailing in the W. Caribbean) to B2B, then E, Caribbean. The back end of this thing was booked a year ago and L&S with price protection from a cruise originally booked for August 2020. That one was an 8n sailing subsequently reduced to 7n as Celebrity rearranged operational plans for their ships. I got a credit back on my CC for that lost day. Celebrity wasn't doing the "everything included" pricing when I booked and then L&S'ed it so, it was a great deal back then. Two points: (1) The price of the add-on booking was 2x that of the price of the original booking I made for the same itinerary. Part of the price increase involved me taking the "everything included" package. But some of it is the "sticker shock" fares we're seeing lately. This wasn't a capacity thing either. There were plenty of available cabins in the class we wanted (1A Veranda) and, surprisingly, we were able to book the same cabin (9157) on the front end add-on as our second sailing of our B2B - a hump cabin with the bigger balcony. (2) Earliest check-in for both cruises (before I had booked the add-on) was 2:30pm. So, its not that I'm late to the party and am getting a seat in the back row, it's that this is what Celebrity is doing - delaying check-ins to apparently well after 2pm and delaying departures from home ports to after 7pm. On the "everything included" strategy that Celebrity has embarked upon. Well, it's consistent with LL-Ps marketing approach to brand Celebrity as a luxury line. I get it. I've already tried it on the Apex sailing of last week. The downside is that you're paying for beverages and internet that I get as a perk with my Captain's Club status - Elite Plus. We relied on those perks and never purchased Bev or internet pkgs and frequently got free grats as an incentive perk. Yes, there's more access to bevs and it's full time internet, but those previously granted perks (3 bevs at any bar from 5-7p, no charge for Al Bacio bevs and sweets and 240 min. of internet time - both plenty for us) are now devalued. The up-side is it's nice to have all access, all day to bevs (classic pkg) and internet. I've played around with the math and our bevs consumption levels and it is clearly a much better deal to purchase the "everything included" cabin fare than it is to purchase the no frills cabin and buy grats, bevs and internet separately .,,,,much more expensive that way. Celebrity is clever like that. They've been really good getting extra cash from you without you feeling bad about it. Apparently lots of Captain's Club members complained about this devaluing of their Elite and Elite Plus perks (I was not among them) because, just recently I got a nice letter in the mail from Celebrity thanking me for my loyalty and letting me know they'd made some changes, nay, they've really improved and expanded our perks. Not really. They did tweak some stuff but not much. https://secure.viewer.zmags.com/publication/cc0ce13c#/cc0ce13c/1
  8. Dunno .... I posted in another thread that there are plenty of voices pushing back on the larger issue, that includes FL v. Bacerra, on administrative agencies, like HHS, usurping the authority of the legislative branch to make laws that potentially infringe on constitutionally guaranteed freedoms - i.e., the inappropriate powers of an administrative state. That is what Merryday said the CDC was doing and slammed them for it in a scathing written opinion. There are other grievances involving government overreach when it comes to restricting personal freedoms by fiat beyond what the CDC has done. The political will to reinstate and/or continue significant mitigation measures in the face of a largely manageable (despite what the press says and implies) infectious disease (SARS2) is lacking. We're seeing this lack of political will to do that along with public pressure in the form of protests when local governments try to re-impose closings and restrictions on mobility globally. In that this is primarily now a pandemic of the unvaccinated, a disease burden being born by the unvaccinated, there will be strong voices in countries with high vax rates arguing that those that have been vaccinated are being curtailed in their personal freedoms by citizens who have declined to receive the vaccines when they are able to do so. This is not a condemnation of those that make that choice. The choice is theirs and I am pro-choice in this matter. It's a rendering of the impact of the mood of the people living in democratic states tired of this thing. Therefore, I feel pretty confident the ground swell of public and political pressure to not re-impose restrictions on our daily lives is going to continue to mount. We're already seeing it. The CDC knows the CSO and all that unlawful action contained in it is on life support. They will be very reluctant to continue with it under the howls of protestations if the try to extend it. JMO, YMMV.
  9. Just completed a Celebrity sailing on Apex from Athens that stopped in Limmasol. We saw Jewel at the same ports Apex called on. First, this area of the world is absolutely the best. It's hot but dry and the waters surrounding the Greek Isles are beautiful. Nary a cloud in the sky. The ports are great. Pretty sure you'll have the same - Rhodes, Santorini, Crete, Mykonos. A point on required participation on ship shore excursions. Excuse me if you already know this but it relates. First, visitors over 12 have to be vaxed or show a negative molecular (PCR) test completed within 72h of your visit to enter. Make sure you have all your documents in print form or stored on your phone. You won't have internet in the terminal immigration area to download these docs. Hopefully you've completed your PLF (one per family) and you have the email notification you completed it on your phone. If you have the email confirming your registration or the actual approval that's good enough. On my Android phone the email I received from the Greek government has a link to the approval form and that is stored in the email. So, you can access that without internet. Greek immigration authorities are very strict and check your vax card, PCR test results (if required) and PLF several times as you enter. The entry process in Athens was very well organized and quick - I assume you'll be entering in Athens then going on to Cyprus. If not, I can't comment on Cyprus immigration. Since the start of our cruising in 2001, I've not booked a single ship's tour. Because of COVID, and not because I was required to, I booked ships excursions in Limmasol, Cyprus and Rhodes we just walked around the others. The tours we had (and I expect RCL is sourcing their tours from the same vendors that Celebrity is) were outstanding and reasonably priced. I highly recommend that you take advantage of these at the 50% discount. You do not want to miss any of the Greek Island ports. Rhodes is particularly interesting from a historical perspective. I think your kids are a good age to appreciate the history. Take them and use the ship board excursions ..... or you can leave them at the pool aboard ship.
  10. I think this view, even expanded to most human activity, is representative of the general mood at least here in the US and in other countries where vax rates are fairly high. Facts on the ground indicate the control of the virus measured in appropriate metrics - and that is not new case numbers! - is decent (manageable) if not perfect (virus eradication). @Jill's story about her husband's medical care as a now recovering COVID patient are not singular. We just never hear about this yet the strikingly improved life saving medical management of patient's admitted with COVID is another encouraging, mostly unrecognized in the media's fear narrative, contribution to the reasonable control of the virus I speak of. It is this kind of realty, this kind of pushback against the re-imposition of past mitigation measures that has the potential of preventing policy makers from re-imposing them. Frankly, of all settings where more than a handful of people will gather, the facts on the ground bely the scientists', virologist's and epidemiologist's often strident views about the risk of cruise ships as dangerous congregate settings that are disease spreaders. They clearly aren't and hats off to the cruise lines for this remarkable accomplishment. The risk to our enjoyment of cruising though is very real. The CDC does not want it's capacity to act, without the slightest oversight, in a PHE and they are fighting hard to keep the status quo. The good thing is that I don't think the political will to go back to any kind of full-scale restrictions that might impact the cruise industry is there. Although we may be biased here and I for one acknowledge that I am, serious questions about government's authority to curtail personal freedoms and economic activity are being raised by FL v. Bacerra. Just re-read Judge Merryday's 124 page opinion in this case and set aside all the distracting appeals process to get an idea of that reality. Read Governor Deasantis' comments he made on Monday about his intent to appeal the appeal asking, "how can a government agency have the authority to shut down an industry?" That we have many voices in government like Desantis asking these questions bodes well for our continued enjoyment of the cruising life. I remain reasonably confident that the smackdown Merryday gave the CDC will carry the day in one form or another. That will ultimately curtail the kind of intrusive government abuse evidenced by that of the CDC during this pandemic.
  11. I've had two itinerary changes on Celebrity sailings in Europe. One, our Athens sailing, had minor changes and I was not offered an option to reschedule. I just completed it. The changes were so minor as to be inconsequential. The other is upcoming in October - a W bound Translant crossing from Barcelona. I was notified about a month ago that the sail date was moved up two weeks and several ports were replaced with another or a previously scheduled port call became a sea day. I was offered a refund or a price protected lift and shift. This despite this sailing being lifted and shifted once already. I'm in agreement with @Atlantix2000. RCL is going to be fair to the extent that is reasonable. Sure, there will be people who feel like they got screwed. Not much RCL or anyone else can do about that group who is comprised of people who are hard to please anyway.
  12. I only searched for ships home porting in SJ. These are port calls. But it still seems that SJ may open by August 1st for transients.
  13. @cruisellama thanks for reading my tome. I love to write about many things here, especially cruising and cruise reviews. I posted somewhere that I had a 7n Equinox booking out of PEV on August 8th. I just booked the preceding cruise on Equinox to make a 14d B2B, W. then E's Caribbean. I have some worries that the CDC may flaunt it's appropriated and unlawful behavior (endorsed by the Appellate Court granting a stay of the Merryday slammer) and ordering cruising from US ports to stop. You know, rising case numbers, danger of congregate settings and all that BS. That may be an unwarranted fear but I'm going to "make hay while the sun shines."
  14. I was uncertain about what agencies are making COVID related PH policy in PR. It's not the CDC. PR has it's own PH Department and PH officials that are independent from the CDC. Not that that makes any difference but CDC policies apparently don't play in PR. Having said that, PR is an island. It is ideally suited to pursue a zero COVID or elimination approach by strictly limiting who comes into the country. I think that is what is at play here. Many don't think that congregate settings, what cruise ships are generally classified as when it comes to infectious disease, are a threat for disease spread. But, PH official trained in these matters think they are. I just looked over the JHU COVID data for PR. When vaccines started to become more available in April, new case numbers plummeted. Now, like most places on the globe, they are rising again. I've argued case numbers are not a good indicator of what is probably the most important metric in assessing viral control - disease burden. That I think this doesn't mean there are a good number of trained epidemiologists, doctors and scientists that believe increased case numbers presage increased hospitalizations and deaths (disease burden). I understand this view, Data is not sufficnet yet to step back from it and that's what these guys rely on. I believe that position though does not take into account facts on the ground. I also believe awareness of the effectiveness of vaccines - observed facts on the ground that often aren't considered scientifically good data- is beginning to shift the pros views more toward accommodative strategies and less toward zero COVID or elimination strategies. I can't say what this means regarding the date certain PR will reopen to cruise ships but PR's economy depends on tourism. I'm sure both government and PH officials are getting pressure to ease travel and leisure restrictions. Despite this, I just did a search of all cruise lines that are scheduled to depart SJ PR going forward 3 months from today and only one line, RCL, shows up and that sailing is Vision on 5 September. That tells me that is the earliest any cruise might originate from SJ PR. It's probably too late to shuttle a cruise ship inot service from there before September. I know Celebrity usually bases a Millennium class ship out of SJ. There are no Celebrity sailings form SJ through the end of March '22 - I didn't look any further. RCL predominates in that market through March with Silver Sea and NCL showing up there in November '21 and January '22 respectively. Anyone booked on an RCL cruise starting with and then after September 5th is probably good to go ..... baring any changes and that happens a lot these days!
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