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Unfair treatment by the CDC


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Hi Everyone,

 

Maybe its just me but does anyone else feel the CDC has singled out the cruise industry? Its been over 4 months and the CDC has yet to say or give any guidelines or protocols for the cruise industry to start sailing again. Now I understand we have a huge issue with cases right now in the U.S. But If you can pack 300 people on an airplane with no social distancing for hours at a time or open up amusement parks and hotels and restaurants you would figure with proper protocols in place we would be able to sail at reduce capacity. I'm just gonna say it but this virus is not going away. The European union and the Asian markets have worked closely with the cruise lines so they can began sailing. Of course the case count is much lower in Europe and Asia but the virus is still there and its not going away. Also why is the CDC asking the general public questions on how to best keep people safe on a cruise ship? isn't that the CDC's job? Why is the CDC asking for a public consultation on how to keep people safe on cruise ships but they wont do it for schools, or airplanes, or amusement parks or hotels? It seems pretty bias to me. 

 

This is just how I see it of course I know some people have different opinions and I welcome that. But at this rate we wont get back to cursing anytime soon. Also a point I like to make is that the virus didn't get here from a cruise ship. It got here from an airplane. But airplanes haven't stopped flying. I have cruised and traveled all my life and I can tell you that cruise ships are the cleanest way to travel. I sure all you would agree but I would like to here what others think. I don't see cursing resuming at least until after the 1st of the year. It just seems like the CDC is dragging its feet and no matter what the cruise lines do the CDC simply doesn't care right now and is in no rush to deal with any of the cruise lines. I hope I'm wrong. Thanks for reading my rant. I hope everyone is staying safe! 

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It all boils down to the “floating petri dish” description that was exploited by the media. I would guess even with CDC approval that RC, Carnival & NCL are hesitant to restart operations because nobody wants to be the guinea pig. I would guess that one major outbreak on a cruise ship (thanks largely in part to negative reporting by news media) would put the last nail in the coffin for the cruise industry. This is going to be a delicate dance and I hope we can all sail again soon. I certainly don’t rule out an implosion of the entire industry though. 

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43 minutes ago, tonyfsu21 said:

It all boils down to the “floating petri dish” description that was exploited by the media. I would guess even with CDC approval that RC, Carnival & NCL are hesitant to restart operations because nobody wants to be the guinea pig. I would guess that one major outbreak on a cruise ship (thanks largely in part to negative reporting by news media) would put the last nail in the coffin for the cruise industry. This is going to be a delicate dance and I hope we can all sail again soon. I certainly don’t rule out an implosion of the entire industry though. 

I completely agree with you! The "floating petri dish" is such a false narrative that's been pushed by the media.  Of course it would only take one outbreak to shut down the industry again. 

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I don't think the CDC has been unfair. 

When you take the politics out of the equation the science supports restricting many activities including cruising.  The CDC does not have direct oversight over all of them, the CDC can only provide guidance for things controlled at the state level.  If states don't follow the CDC guidance that's within the rights for states to choose to do so, right or wrong will be determined in the history books.  The CDC does have the ability to influence cruise ships.  

While I wish this wasn't the case the CDC is right to prevent cruising at this time.    Without the ban, cruises would sail, there would be spread and deaths that occur and the media would have a field day all but putting the last nail in the industry coffin.  Right now the CDC is saving the cruise lines from themselves and the inevitable outcome if they were to sail today.  

Other regions have managed to better contain community spread.  As a result some cruising is beginning in a very limited fashion.  The US isn't there yet.  It will be at some point.  When it gets there the work that cruise lines and the CDC are doing right now will allow us to be prepared for that moment.  It won't be cruising like it was, not for several years.  

The CDC isn't to blame for the ban, Americans are. The CDC is just the messenger delivering a message we don't like.  Don't shoot the messenger.   We The People put us where we are with respect to cruising.  We The People can get us to a happy place where cruising can begin in a limited fashion.  Politicians will never agree and people who have a political agenda will make it political but at the the end of the day it's We The People that will ultimately move us to a better place.

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30 minutes ago, twangster said:

I don't think the CDC has been unfair. 

When you take the politics out of the equation the science supports restricting many activities including cruising.  The CDC does not have direct oversight over all of them, the CDC can only provide guidance for things controlled at the state level.  If states don't follow the CDC guidance that's within the rights for states to choose to do so, right or wrong will be determined in the history books.  The CDC does have the ability to influence cruise ships.  

While I wish this wasn't the case the CDC is right to prevent cruising at this time.    Without the ban, cruises would sail, there would be spread and deaths that occur and the media would have a field day all but putting the last nail in the industry coffin.  Right now the CDC is saving the cruise lines from themselves and the inevitable outcome if they were to sail today.  

Other regions have managed to better contain community spread.  As a result some cruising is beginning in a very limited fashion.  The US isn't there yet.  It will be at some point.  When it gets there the work that cruise lines and the CDC are doing right now will allow us to be prepared for that moment.  It won't be cruising like it was, not for several years.  

The CDC isn't to blame for the ban, Americans are. The CDC is just the messenger delivering a message we don't like.  Don't shoot the messenger.   We The People put us where we are with respect to cruising.  We The People can get us to a happy place where cruising can begin in a limited fashion.  Politicians will never agree and people who have a political agenda will make it political but at the the end of the day it's We The People that will ultimately move us to a better place.

I totally get what your saying and agree with we the people are the blame for the increase cases. All the points you made are fair. All I was saying is that the CDC has done Nothing to work with the cruise industry on a path forward and they don't seem interested in a productive dialog. Everything else is allowed to open up and function but not cruise ships. There just seems to be a double standard when it comes to them. I don't think we should be cruising at this point because the proper protocols are not in place. Like I said the CDC has said nothing in over 4 months. And to put out those ridiculous questions out asking the public of what we think would make cruising safer clearly shows they have no interest in working with the cruise lines and the clearly have no plan. 

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1 minute ago, Cruiseallday said:

I totally get what your saying and agree with we the people are the blame for the increase cases. All the points you made are fair. All I was saying is that the CDC has done Nothing to work with the cruise industry on a path forward and they don't seem interested in a productive dialog. Everything else is allowed to open up and function but not cruise ships. There just seems to be a double standard when it comes to them. I don't think we should be cruising at this point because the proper protocols are not in place. Like I said the CDC has said nothing in over 4 months. And to put out those ridiculous questions out asking the public of what we think would make cruising safer clearly shows they have no interest in working with the cruise lines and the clearly have no plan. 

The CDC did publish requirements.  Royal and most other lines ignored them or didn't follow them claiming ignorance.  "Oops, we'll do it right next time" was Royal's response when busted.  

The CDC has been interacting with cruise lines this whole time.  Just because it hasn't played out in the media on a daily basis for all of us to follow doesn't mean it hasn't been happening. 

One cruise line took time to read and follow the CDC requirements.  They submitted a response to the CDC and they were approved to sail.  That's one ship out of hundreds.  Other cruise companies haven't tried to submit plans or respond to the CDC.  That's on the cruise lines but that does not equate to the CDC saying nothing for 4 months.    

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36 minutes ago, twangster said:

The CDC did publish requirements.  Royal and most other lines ignored them or didn't follow them claiming ignorance.  "Oops, we'll do it right next time" was Royal's response when busted.  

The CDC has been interacting with cruise lines this whole time.  Just because it hasn't played out in the media on a daily basis for all of us to follow doesn't mean it hasn't been happening. 

One cruise line took time to read and follow the CDC requirements.  They submitted a response to the CDC and they were approved to sail.  That's one ship out of hundreds.  Other cruise companies haven't tried to submit plans or respond to the CDC.  That's on the cruise lines but that does not equate to the CDC saying nothing for 4 months.    

What are requirements the CDC came up with? Why wouldn't the CDC purplish them if that's the case?  Do you have some inside info that the rest of don't?  We can agree to disagree on this. These nothing wrong with that. Like is said if you can fly on an airplane with 300 other people elbow to elbow then they can find a way with the cruise ships. I guess since the CDC is waiting to hear from the public on what we think they should do, we and the cruise lines shouldn't expect hear anything anytime soon. 

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29 minutes ago, Cruiseallday said:

What are requirements the CDC came up with? Why wouldn't the CDC purplish them if that's the case?  Do you have some inside info that the rest of don't?  We can agree to disagree on this. These nothing wrong with that. Like is said if you can fly on an airplane with 300 other people elbow to elbow then they can find a way with the cruise ships. I guess since the CDC is waiting to hear from the public on what we think they should do, we and the cruise lines shouldn't expect hear anything anytime soon. 

You can search these forums for previous threads about the CDC.  Their requirements were published.  They may not be on the top of every mainstream media's reporting but they are there.  For good or bad, the cruise industry is one of the only things where the CDC has direct authority to say "you may not operate".  There's a lot the CDC would ban if they could.  When you say "Everything else is allowed to open up and function but not cruise ships" you have to understand that the CDC is not necessarily allowing those industries to open up, it's FAR more likely that they just can't prevent it.

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I received some news today that made me take new stock of this notion of unfair treatment by the CDC. I was originally going to be in Orlando just before Thanksgiving this year for a in-person residency for school. I was going to board Harmony afterward for Thanksgiving at sea.

Today, that residency was shifted to completely online. My school has evaluated the situation in Florida and how they think things will look in 3 months and decided going fully virtual is the right way to go. At the same time, two professional meetings I was slated to attend -- one in Seattle in 2021 and one in California later this year -- have both been moved online. Yes, I know that means all those activities will still continue while cruising will not.

But the fact remains per public health officials, there continues to be a threat and a spread, and organizations and corporations are doing their best in this situation. Would you rather they expose themselves to liability just so you can get your vacation? I get that people are upset. I was in a position I felt the need to lift and shift my cruises til next year. I got all my money back at this point. All I want is for Royal Caribbean to offer me a safe-as-can-be, fun vacation, however long that takes. Til then, my life continues to evolve around all of this going on...and as much as I look forward to cruising, it's definitely on the back burner right now. I'm just thankful I'll be able to do everything -- both personally and professionally -- with a greater measure of safety.

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I don't think the CDC has treated the cruise lines unfair.......it is all part if skewed perceptions.

A lot of things that were closed or under limited restriction opened back up despite the CDC and WHO recommendations. They say it doesn't affect children, but look at all those who got infected at that summer camp.Think about the people in Vegas, Florida and Texas who disregarded protocol and now are infected. The people who fight in retail stores over mask. Look at the circumstances and current outcomes, now apply that to a cruise line.. The CDC doesn't want to add to the numbers by allowing cruises to commence.

My friend opened up her dining room for her restaurant so employees could make a living. As her accountant, it has not been worth it. The first week she was at capacity every day, but that capacity is 25%, so it was barely worth it. Since numbers have been increasing, she has barely filled all tables and had to make difficult decisions. There are signs posted about mask compliance and other simple rules. People ignore them. I can see cruise lines not being able to comply because they don't want to ruin the experience. It is not only the CDC stopping the lines from cruising but also people and the lines themselves.

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10 hours ago, Cruiseallday said:

What are requirements the CDC came up with? Why wouldn't the CDC purplish them if that's the case?  Do you have some inside info that the rest of don't?  We can agree to disagree on this. These nothing wrong with that. Like is said if you can fly on an airplane with 300 other people elbow to elbow then they can find a way with the cruise ships. I guess since the CDC is waiting to hear from the public on what we think they should do, we and the cruise lines shouldn't expect hear anything anytime soon. 

Flying on an airplane imo is not the same as being on a cruise for 7+ days with thousands of people. We have to consider liability and safety of all crew and passengers involved. I want to get back to cruising just like everyone else but there is so many things to consider which the CDC and cruise lines are taking into consideration. Cruises are a small city moving from port to port. Let's also talk about the Caribbean for a second. Most of these islands have seen extremely low infection rates and in many islands the cases that they did have were from foreigners imported. I'm sure there are many ports that simply do not want cruises to sail there until it is safe.

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IMO, the CDC absolutely IS part of the problem, and its not just in the arena of cruising.

I work for an airline in the US that implemented (and still has) 60% seat caps on our airplanes to maintain "social distance."  Within the past month, United and American dropped their 60% seatcap and will now sell their airplanes to 100% capacity.  It took that announcement that they were returning to 100% capacity for Fauci to come out and say "I'm not sure thats a good idea."  But, the CDC never issued a recommendation for the 60% seatcap restriction in the first place.  Individual airlines were left to their own devices.  There wasn't a decree issued that said "airlines must do X,Y,Z in order to be airworthy during this pandemic."  Things we are doing, like handing out purel wipes as each passenger gets onboard, and serving snacks and water in a ziploc bag to minimize touching, were things we came up with on our own.  The airlines were never shutdown and have been operating continually through the pandemic.

Why is Royal / Norwegian's "healthy sail panel" comprised of former CDC employees?  Why isn't the ACTUAL CDC just telling the cruise lines "here is what you have to do to sail again."?  Seems rather lazy to me.  Have an independent panel come up with their own recommendations, and then the CDC may or may not give that document the papal blessing?  Hmmmm.

 But, this is part of the larger problem in the US that those abroad tend to forget ... We are actually 50 little independent countries here.  Day to day, you don't really notice it except for things like speed limits and booze laws.  We have had to wade through a daily bombardment of voices during this pandemic.  Trump.  Fauci.  Brix.  Redfield.  50 governors, each with their own agenda.  Mayors of big towns with clout (NY, LA) that get extra air-time.  Etc.  Etc.  The CDC doesn't really do anything besides issue guidelines.  The regulations need to come from 1 place, 1 voice, but that isn't how the US is politically designed, and IMO is a huge part of why we aren't getting ourselves out of this hole anytime soon.

Rant over.  I can't wait to get back to cruising with you all soon, and that'll be when it is safe to do so!  Carry on!

 

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2 hours ago, crisgold52 said:

the big elephant in the room no one wants to talk about is litigation and class litigation

That'll be sorted out by schools going back.  As soon as the first school kid dies and the lawyers get involved we'll get our first glimpse at how this plays out in court.  

Schools are at greater risk because each local school board is responsible to figure it out.  The CDC doesn't review each local school board's plan.  The argument will be that the district didn't do enough or their protocols were wrong.  

The cruise lines will benefit to a degree in that the CDC will be reviewing their protocols.  If they aren't up to CDC requirements they'll be rejected.  If the CDC blesses the plan and protocols all a cruise line has to do is prove they followed the plan approved by the CDC.   Unless they fail to follow the plan they should have reduced legal exposure because it was good enough for the very tough and unfair to the industry CDC.  

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On 7/31/2020 at 12:24 PM, twangster said:

I don't think the CDC has been unfair.

Good argument made, and I agree with all of your points. Ultimately if the virus were handled better, this wouldn't be an issue for the agency.

The issue I find with the CDC isn't that they are being unfair to the cruise lines, just that the cruise industry is treated with great scrutiny (which is fine) but so many other aspects of travel are not.  That double standard is what irks me, not that the CDC is going after cruises.

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18 minutes ago, Matt said:

Good argument made, and I agree with all of your points. Ultimately if the virus were handled better, this wouldn't be an issue for the agency.

The issue I find with the CDC isn't that they are being unfair to the cruise lines, just that the cruise industry is treated with great scrutiny (which is fine) but so many other aspects of travel are not.  That double standard is what irks me, not that the CDC is going after cruises.

It brings up what eats at me, which is...the reason behind the double standard affecting the cruise industry so disproportionately...is it pandering? Is it sensitivity to louder critics, the press, their Washington overlords? Combine it with the CDC director's reported admission that there is a financial incentive for hospitals to report cases...the unreasonable repatriation measures from the U.S., IMO. I could go on and on...

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A quote from a different thread:

Bora Bora, which had remained COVID-free up to now, had all passengers disembark for the day, before the results of the follow-up test came back. Extensive contact tracing will be undertaken there as well as in Tahiti, where the passenger spent a couple of days before boarding.

And this is why the CDC is being strict,  the cruise industry could've just screwed over Bora Bora

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The CDC doesn't have the authority to dictate to individual states what to do.  The federal government can't mandate shut downs, that power rests with individual states and governors or down to the city and county level.  In theory that should work better as it allows more localized decision making.  

Given the current pandemic trends and numbers it appears that many states or areas are getting it wrong.  No one is blaming the CDC for that, that's on the state, county or city government who formulated the response for that area.

If the CDC had more power they would be more involved in areas beyond the cruise industry.  It's not a double standard being implemented by the CDC, they simply are powerless to do anything but sit back and watch some states doing it differently compared to how the CDC would do it.    

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4 hours ago, twangster said:

The CDC doesn't have the authority to dictate to individual states what to do.  The federal government can't mandate shut downs, that power rests with individual states and governors or down to the city and county level. 

The No Sail Order lists this as the rationale for banning cruising:

"If unrestricted cruise ship passenger operations were permitted to resume, infected and exposed persons disembarking cruise ships would place federal partners (e.g., Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Coast Guard), healthcare workers, port personnel, and communities at substantial risk."

How is that logic not applied to airlines, especially international travel? They pose the exact same risk to those exact same groups.

Again, not saying I think its unfair to say that is a realistic risk for cruises. But I don't see how other aspects of travel are able to operate because any airplane that has a positive case onboard places the exact same risks as any cruise ship.

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36 minutes ago, crisgold52 said:

Planes on the other hand are for a few hours tops not for days. Plus on a plane it's a lower capacity of people and contact tracing upon de planing would be logistically easier whereas with the city like status of say an Oasis class this becomes logistically challenging due to the different dynamics involved. That's my perception. 

Plane travel is far more risky than cruise ship travel.

On a ship there are activities that are more risky such as sitting at a bar (no different risk than on land).  If you don't participate in higher risk activities and maintain distancing then it doesn't matter if you are on a ship for days and days, you have greatly reduced the risk much like working in a grocery store every day week after week.  

One theory of COVID-19 transmission involves the length of time one is near or in contact with an infected subject.  Simply walking past an infected person is less likely to cause infection.  Standing next to an infected person at a party or sitting at a bar next to an infected person is more likely to cause an infection.  

The viral loading obtained by walking past someone in a grocery store for example is low even if that person is breathing heavy.  The theory is you don't get enough viral load in that brief exposure to allow your system to become infected.  It's not like one particle of virus will cause an infection, it takes many particles in your system before it takes hold and you become infected.  

This is how grocery store and other retail workers are not incurring mass infections.  They work every day week after week yet don't become infected.  With distancing and masks in retail stores we aren't experiencing mass infections compared to bars where people sit in place for periods of time.

Sitting at a bar for 15 minutes next to an infected person very well can lead to infection because you intake enough viral load in that time.  Walking past that same person and sitting on the other side of the room is less likely to see infection, or so the theory goes.

Even a short airplane ride is long enough to become infected if you are unlucky enough to sit near someone who is infected.  Distancing guidelines work but become less effective if the subjects are fixed and inside for long periods of time such as on an airplane or at a bar.  The time on board any plane trip involves boarding, taxiing, flight, taxiing and deplaning.  The shortest flights in the world still have around one hour of sitting time.  The plane boards 30 minutes before flight, taxi is 5 to 10 minutes average, flight time of 5 minutes followed by 5-10 minute taxi to the gate and 10 minutes to offload.  If you do the shortest flight in the world next to an infected person you are now most likely infected.

On a large ship you can go the entire cruise and not see the same person twice.   I'm not saying there is zero opportunity on a ship, just that it's much less risky compared to planes.

You are correct though in that cruising is non-essential beyond the economic impact of the cruise industry.  The CDC is getting away with a cruise ship ban because it's non-essential.  It's not clear if the CDC has the authority to regulate or ban domestic travel between states.  Interstate commerce and travel has some level of control by the U.S. Congress but perhaps not by individual federal agencies.  I suspect the CDC can't ban flights and are limited to making recommendations that can be ignored even if they are the right thing to do.  

Airline bailout money from the federal government required them to continue operations so there is that as well.  The bailout money stops in October which is why the airlines are warning of mass layoffs in the fall.   The airline bailout wasn't well thought out, it forced them to fly empty planes around or else they'd lose the bailout money.  Imagine if some agency then said you can't fly?  

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