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U.S. Senators introduce bill to allow cruise lines to restart


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Looks like a real push to allow cruises to restart. But how different is that group of federal agencies than what already deals with cruise lines in the U.S.? And @Matt's article highlights 2 main points: developing a plan and creating a timeline to implement it. Isn't this things cruise lines have been working on for months?

Adding government oversight/input/control seems to only lengthen the time before any  cruises resume. Am I overthinking this?

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6 hours ago, RWDW1204 said:

Looks like a real push to allow cruises to restart. But how different is that group of federal agencies than what already deals with cruise lines in the U.S.? And @Matt's article highlights 2 main points: developing a plan and creating a timeline to implement it. Isn't this things cruise lines have been working on for months?

Adding government oversight/input/control seems to only lengthen the time before any  cruises resume. Am I overthinking this?

@RWDW1204No you are NOT overthinking this. When I read the title I was thinking, okay this is great what took so long? Then I continued to read and thought the exact same thing, the Health Panel, CLIA, and the Lines themselves are already doing what the Senators stated they were going to do, set in place...I was like oh, NOOOOO!!! They are going to muck it up "Royally" 

 A great deal of pain is being expressed and felt down here especially our neighbors that have business' near the cruise ports, our local news just did a big story on boarded up local retailers etc near the cruise port in Miami, I think maybe they are responding to the economic reality our local families are experiencing. So after initial reading of article I wish they would NOT bugger with it. Just support what the cruise lines and CLIA are doing already, ugh bumpy ride gets even bumpier. LET.US.SAIL!!!

no thank you emoji GIF by Moto

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Just a matter of time now before cruiselines has to flag ships...requirements of U.S Steel is negligible these days in a global society. I suspect extortion through policy for tax revenue & more control of the industry is the ultimate goal. Members of the House have been suggesting these things since late Spring.

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What will eventually happen is that RCG, IF they were smart, will start home-porting from Nassau, Bermuda or even Barbados, just like SeaDream does and even Carnival leaves from Barbados.  This, can also be a short term solution until the CDC and everyone else gets their act together. I'm sure that everyone would fly out to any of these destinations to catch a RCG cruise. Raise your hands if you would fly out to a caribbean/Atlantic port to catch a RCG cruise ship?giphy.gif?cid=6c09b952j1snlbhj4urxm3pqnz

 

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I would think the lobbyists are way out in front of this and have steered them towards language that encompasses things that are already in the works or would need to be done in any case and are probably already in the works. Most senators don't pull this stuff out of thin air.

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After reading the article that Matt posted my first thoughts were there is no way that cruising will return this year. Now that the government wants to get involved I am willing to bet that we will start to see the lines announce that all sailing this year are cancelled. Disney has already canceled their sailings until late December so the other major lines will now be shortly behind them in my opinion.

 

-Eric

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1 hour ago, princevaliantus said:

What will eventually happen is that RCG, IF they were smart, will start home-porting from Nassau, Bermuda or even Barbados, just like SeaDream does and even Carnival leaves from Barbados.  This, can also be a short term solution until the CDC and everyone else gets their act together. I'm sure that everyone would fly out to any of these destinations to catch a RCG cruise. Raise your hands if you would fly out to a caribbean/Atlantic port to catch a RCG cruise ship?giphy.gif?cid=6c09b952j1snlbhj4urxm3pqnz

 

Would be so easy to fly into NAS and leave from there. That or AUA would be great as they have customs pre-clearance facilities. 

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At this point, it's just a bill and at best, it is aimed at both Senators' constituents to make it look like they are on their side.

It still needs to get to a vote, as well as actually pass the Senate and then the House. Without getting into any kind of political discussion, that is far from a certainty.

Back to the idea of the bill, on the one hand yes it does feel a little late, but then again, until cruise lines in Europe managed to sail, no politicians were talking about cruising restarting.

On the other hand, I look at this less as legislation salvation, but honest to goodness pressure towards cruises resuming. We don't need this act to pass for cruises to start, we just need the right influence in government to get more and more people in the powers that be to get things moving and allow the No Sail Order to be rescinded, as well as approve new plans by the cruise lines. Up until a few weeks ago, there wasn't much government pressure to do any of that, but I feel like now momentum has shifted.

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One the key takeaways for me is the idea that the CDC would no longer have exclusive control of the cruise industry.

At the moment the CDC does have singular control with no check or balance from any other component of government.  They are "king" of the cruise industry.  Whatever the king says is the law of the land.

Under the proposed bill the CDC would be one of many agencies providing input to the panel but the CDC wouldn't be the sole decision maker, the panel can make a balanced, informed decision, at least in theory.  

The CDC has stated that one concern and reason for the no sail order is that cruise ships requires resources of the CDC and other agencies at a time when these resources could otherwise be focused on American communities.  The Vessel Sanitation Program or VSP normally involves large numbers of CDC resources that implement and manage the VSP program.  With the cruise industry shut down these resources at the CDC have been redeployed in the field or retasked so they are focused on COVID-19.  

That sounds great but it amounts to shutting down an industry because the CDC doesn't have enough resources to fulfil its mandate.  The danger with this reallocation of resources within the CDC is that it will keep the cruise industry shuttered indefinitely.   It could take years after a vaccine is available before all American communities no longer need the resources of the CDC to the extent they do today.  If the cruise industry remains shut down through 2023 or 2024 it will be dead.   If the cruise industry was lost forever the CDC would be fine with that as they would be able to focus exclusively on the American people on a long term basis.

At the moment the CDC has the power to kill an industry and with it all the jobs and economic impact associated with that industry.  No one can stop them, this is within their power today.  This bill would wrestle that power and control away from the CDC bringing balance to the process.  

 

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@twangster, I could not just like your post. I wanted to personally thank you for your time in articulating that point. I feel more educated now and even better about it because of your input, and as always you have the BEST pics! Thanks so much, you enlightened me and that is so appreciated, cheers to you!

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2 hours ago, twangster said:

One the key takeaways for me is the idea that the CDC would no longer have exclusive control of the cruise industry.

At the moment the CDC does have singular control with no check or balance from any other component of government.  They are "king" of the cruise industry.  Whatever the king says is the law of the land.

Under the proposed bill the CDC would be one of many agencies providing input to the panel but the CDC wouldn't be the sole decision maker, the panel can make a balanced, informed decision, at least in theory.  

The CDC has stated that one concern and reason for the no sail order is that cruise ships requires resources of the CDC and other agencies at a time when these resources could otherwise be focused on American communities.  The Vessel Sanitation Program or VSP normally involves large numbers of CDC resources that implement and manage the VSP program.  With the cruise industry shut down these resources at the CDC have been redeployed in the field or retasked so they are focused on COVID-19.  

That sounds great but it amounts to shutting down an industry because the CDC doesn't have enough resources to fulfil its mandate.  The danger with this reallocation of resources within the CDC is that it will keep the cruise industry shuttered indefinitely.   It could take years after a vaccine is available before all American communities no longer need the resources of the CDC to the extent they do today.  If the cruise industry remains shut down through 2023 or 2024 it will be dead.   If the cruise industry was lost forever the CDC would be fine with that as they would be able to focus exclusively on the American people on a long term basis.

At the moment the CDC has the power to kill an industry and with it all the jobs and economic impact associated with that industry.  No one can stop them, this is within their power today.  This bill would wrestle that power and control away from the CDC bringing balance to the process.  

 

Excellent post. I agree. But I have to ask if this bill in just in Florida, I would assume that the CDC would only not be the sole decision maker in Florida if it passes? 

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9 minutes ago, Oliver said:

Excellent post. I agree. But I have to ask if this bill in just in Florida, I would assume that the CDC would only not be the sole decision maker in Florida if it passes? 

I believe the two senators are U.S. Senators working in Washington.  They are from Florida but currently work at the federal level.  The bill if passed would apply at the federal level.  

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Thank you @Matt & @twangster! You both made some great points about not only how the legislative process works, but why this bill is needed. This adjunct Poli Sci professor thanks you! 

Matt's point about the process is true. So many pieces of legislation do not even make it out of committee for a vote on the floor, much less make to the other chamber for the vote. It would have more traction if there was a "sister" bill in the House moving through their process at the same time. As far as I can tell, there's not. Therefore, this looks like a "let's support our local economy/constituents, but we doubt it will make it out of committee" piece of legislation. It gets both Rubio and Scott some local media coverage, but as of now its just been referred to committee. If you want to watch what happens with it, here's the link to it. https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/4592

I agree with @twangster that the bill has merit, especially with how the CDC controls the industry. Not trying to place blame on one particular group or party, but this is a trend of the 20th century continuing into the 21st century... Congress grants power to regulatory agencies and allows them to set their own regulations without a check from the people or another branch. In other words, if we don't like our House rep., we can vote them out. If we don't like a regulatory agencies/administration's regulation, sucks to be us. The only solution is to have Congress address it with legislation like we see here or the president can address it with an Executive Order, but would require some major pressure on the president from the cruise industry. 

Thanks for coming to my "How a Bill becomes a Law" and "How the Bureaucracy is considered the 4th Branch" TED talk. 😂

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On 9/16/2020 at 9:26 PM, RWDW1204 said:

developing a plan and creating a timeline to implement it. Isn't this things cruise lines have been working on for months?

This is my annoyance with the whole thing.  Why has it taken this long to even get to this point?  I love cruising, I want to cruise.  The lack of action by the CDC or government has been terrible.  I am glad something is now being done, but why did it take so long?  I know I am bitter about having to postpone my cruise this year.  I know I am not the only one.  We have another one booked on a different cruise line for this coming April.  I really hope cruising is back and running before we sail so all the new kinks are worked out of the new operational procedures.  

 

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I suppose we can give these elected leaders credit for waiting and hoping the CDC would engage more actively on this issue.  Now that they (and we) have seen that doesn't seem to be happening this may also be an attempt to get their attention.  

For me when I saw lead of the CDC cruise ship task force make statements about the situation I realized the CDC doesn't want cruising to restart.   Perhaps that is when these two Senators realized there is no relief in sight for their constituents impacted by the shut down.  

Unfortunately the CDC is under attack from other directions as well so this bill may not rise to the level that they pay any attention to it.    

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Ulitmately, it comes down to priorities. For us, it is a priority because we love cruising. For many of us, it is a way of life. I work so I can cruise... literally. My adjunct position money goes into a savings account to pay for vacations. However, the large majority of Americans are not like us. They may have been on a cruise, but they aren't a part of our culture. It's not a big deal for them or they may have actually had a miserable time. My brother refuses to get on a ship because he watches too many episodes of Dateline and thinks he will die. I work with people who are the same way. As a result, this issue is not on the radar of most politicians. What does it matter to Sen. Gardner from Colorado if the cruise industry gets to cruise soon. It doesn't... he's in a fight for his seat, so that's not a priority for him right now. (He's really on the committee.) If you want traction on this bill, start contacting committee members. commerce.senate.gov/members You don't have to be from their state. You don't have to be from the US. If you want them to move this bill to the floor for a vote, let them know. 

As for the CDC, @twangster is right! They are under attack on the daily. The suspension of cruising has allowed them to move resources and people to larger issues. I would guess that if it was up to them, cruising would be suspended until a vaccine was available. It's not good optics for an agency who is under the gun to allow the industry to return and then have to shut it down again when there's an outbreak.

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Cindy Friedman is the experienced epidemiologist who leads the CDC’s cruise ship task force.  She believes during this pandemic cruise ships created a “huge strain” on the country. “Nobody should be going on cruise ships during this pandemic, full stop,” she says.

Part of the problem, she says, is that cruises are often populated with people at greater-than-average risk for the disease.   Crew members sleep in bunk beds and usually share bathrooms. “If these ships had stopped sailing, our large team could all be working on helping states and local public health authorities with their community outbreaks,” she says.

The CDC doesn't care about the jobs or the economic impact of the cruise industry.  The CDC doesn't want to be bothered by the cruise industry right now or for several years to come. 

They are solely focused on the pandemic and plan to be for the foreseeable future long after a vaccine is first available right up until the pandemic is completely over and we are past it.  Only then will the CDC allow cruise ships to sail, unless someone else intervenes.

Think about it.  When can we look in the rear view mirror and say the pandemic has been defeated?  Only once we are past it will we know we are past it.  That won't happen when a vaccine is first released.  That won't happen when the vaccine is generally available.  We won't know the pandemic is over until it is over and that might not be for several years to come.  That's not to say that life won't begin to return to normal before then, but we won't know with certainty it's over until it is over.  Only then can we declare it's been eradicated.  That is when the CDC wants to allow cruise ships to sail again and without intervention, not a day before.  

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