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Here it is! Healthy Sail Recommendations


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These recommendations are totally incomplete. No mention at all was made whether hiding rubber ducks would be allowed.

I'm confused why you would consider this?  Does a grocery store fear healthcare workers?  Does an airline question healthcare workers or pull them aside at check in?  How does anyone even know what yo

The requirement to book cruise line excursions is not unexpected and understandable given the need to maintain the "bubble" as much as possible from start to finish.   The comment that they shoul

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  • Passengers should be tested for COVID-19 between five days and 24 hours prior to boarding and share a negative result with the cruise operator. 
  • At embarkation passengers should undergo an additional health screening. 
  • Crew members should be tested between five days and 24 hours before leaving their home. After receiving a negative result, they should quarantine on board for seven days and take another test before beginning duties with a negative result.
  • Passengers and crew should undergo a daily temperature check.
  • Passengers and crew should wear a face mask or cloth covering in accordance with CDC guidelines. 
  • Ships should have lowered crew and passenger loads.
  • Cruise lines should implement shorter sailing itineraries.
  • Cruise operators should also implement contact-free check-in. 
  • Increased sanitation on board and in ports should be implemented with attention paid to both low-touch and high-touch areas.

 

 

 

 

What will happen to pools and hot tubs?

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I like it quite a bit, still a lot to read through on the details, and of course it depends on the CDC/etc, but very promising.  

One interesting note so far, while they're recommending shorter sailings they're saying 10 days or less and not the 3/4 day ones. I'd guess that most sailings fall into that category and could see some 7 night oasis class sailings with a couple cococay stops and one or two other ports.

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2 hours ago, mook1525 said:

Passengers and crew should wear a face mask or cloth covering in accordance with CDC guidelines. 

I can't see how this is going to work from a pool perspective, especially regarding chair hogs.  It was already bad enough when every chair was slammed right next to each other, now do  social distancing (IE remove loungers) and you might as well bring your blanket from the cabin and go to sleep on the loungers at midnight to save them for the next day.

If they follow organizations like Disney regarding the mask issue, you will probably see a ton of drunk/fat people, since that is one reason you don't have to wear a mask....just keep drinking/eating, drinking/eating, drinking/eating (Dora from Finding Nemo)

I have not read it all just the highlights that @Mattposted this a.m. on the home page.

I wonder 1 more thing that might be in those pages, and ties back to my 1st response above.  POOL.  I know in my area in VA, and my family in Central NJ, pools did not open at all this summer due to what the governors mandated/required for them to re-open.  Basically most HOAs and community pools said it was too costly to open the pools and required too much for them to do to keep it up on an hourly/daily basis.  Think draining the pool and sanitizing daily.  Plus, limited number allowed in at any given time.  Now on the flip side my GF that lives in my old neighborhood with a community pool opened bc they live in NC.  Just saying I wonder what that guideline will be from the CDC?

Will they open the pools at all?  I know RCL has lifeguards, unlike other cruise lines, but will these people now need to be doing a head count for social distancing, instead of making sure nobody is drowning?  Anyone that has cruised knows at points the pools/hot tubs are shoulder to shoulder with people.  

If we have to wear face masks at the pool, well I know where I will be....on my balcony lounge chairs listening to the water, music from our laptop (VOOM), and walking to the nearest bar from my cabin to get a drink to bring back to my cabin.  

It is funny if you think about it.  People always say 1x you go to balcony level you will never go back (exception is @twangster) Now it is even more desirable than just having breakfast on the balcony as you sail into port, or hearing the ocean late at night,  if this will impact the pools and wearing a face mask you will only want that balcony, that is probably a big plus for RCL from an ROI aspect.  Plus, G forbid you get "lockdowned" at least you still have outside to get fresh air...down side you might be charged with murder for throwing that cabin mate over the balcony once you have been locked in the cabin for days.

 

 

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40 minutes ago, mjb1127 said:

Does this mean we can take non-RCL excursions?

I don't know how they can enforce the non-RCL excursions.  Look at Bermuda as an example.  Many people hop on the pink bus, take a taxi, or rent scooters to go to Horseshoe instead of paying the price of RCL.  How will they verify that they did any of the those three options?  Are they not going to let you off the ship?

We did Waitlings and Grays Chocolate tour in Bahamas last yr, but not through RCL, it would be impo a non-rcl excursion, but it would be considered verified.  We walked off, got in a taxi and went there.  How would they know I got into a taxi, unless they are going to stop any taxis outside of the port?  We did the same when we went to Halifax @3 yrs ago regarding the Titanic Museum, that time we walked it, but we stopped to get Lobster Rolls, flight of beers and some stores.  I could add in Key West and para-sailing.  You could go with theirs or find your own.  Are they going to put a tracking monitor on you, so when you come back they say, OH we see you used XYZ, and they are not verified?  

My husband and I are in a way scaredy cats when it comes to excursions, especially if it is a short port time or our 1st time at that port. We prefer to use RCL, even though it is typically cheaper to do it on your own.  We like the guarantee that we won't be the runners that everybody posts on  YouTube from the decks/balconies as the ship pulls away! 

Our Symphony sailing in May is all RCL excursions, and we booked them during CoVid.  There was another reason we did this besides being a dock runner.  It is tied to our cruise bill directly, and we have travel insurance.  We didn't want to risk that if the cruise was canceled or the company went out of business due to CoVid that we would have to fight to get our money back.  RCL was on the hook to reimburse us. 

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@Pima1988I looked at the report wanting to see exactly what was stated.  I am not a fan of forced mask wearing.  I think what was written was to be expected, but I do not see it as a deal breaker for me.  This passage is what I am referring to.

"Specifically, guests should wear face coverings in any indoor, congregate setting regardless of physical distancing measures, but should not be required to wear face coverings in their own cabins. A notable exception is indoor dining. Seating in restaurants and bars/lounges should allow for physical distancing, so guests can eat and drink without needing face coverings while seated. Face coverings are not required in outdoor settings as long as physical distancing is feasible. However, if physical distancing is not feasible in certain outdoor settings, masks/face coverings among guests should be required in those locations. For crew members, masks should be worn any time they are engaging with other crew members or guests (i.e., in all public settings, both indoors and outdoors)."

I think this is a good compromise.  Being outside at the pool then we are not required to wear them.  I am not sure what they are going to do about the hot tubs though.    On the way there and back yes, but I will take that over all the time.  

Also, this passage is encouraging to me.

"The Panel recognizes that as disease prevalence goes down, face covering requirements may be loosened over time based on the latest available scientific data, public health agency recommendations, and risk modeling. However, in the initial period of sailing, they are an important tool that should be regularly used"

I am taking this information, and the rest of the panel's report,  as a positive sign that we can get the ships back in the water and sailing again.  I hope the CDC agrees with the panel's report.

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1 hour ago, mjb1127 said:

It says guests have to take RCL excursions or verified excursions.  Does this mean we can take non-RCL excursions?

In on word ... YES!! And if you think trying to outwit RCG, let me remind those who try to play stupid when MSC Cruises says family denied re-boarding after they broke COVID-19 'social bubble'... you can also read the full article: https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2020/08/19/msc-cruises-cracking-down-passengers-who-break-covid-19-regulations/5605867002/

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9 minutes ago, princevaliantus said:

In on word ... YES!! And if you think trying to outwit RCG, let me remind those who try to play stupid when MSC Cruises says family denied re-boarding after they broke COVID-19 'social bubble'... you can also read the full article: https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2020/08/19/msc-cruises-cracking-down-passengers-who-break-covid-19-regulations/5605867002/

No,not looking to outwit anyone.

Have some non-RCL tours booked for Alaska and wanted to know if I could keep them.

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12 minutes ago, princevaliantus said:

In on word ... YES!! And if you think trying to outwit RCG, let me remind those who try to play stupid when MSC Cruises says family denied re-boarding after they broke COVID-19 'social bubble'... you can also read the full article: https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2020/08/19/msc-cruises-cracking-down-passengers-who-break-covid-19-regulations/5605867002/

I get that going on your own with excursions saves money, but right now there are these rules we need to follow.  I am not going to chance being denied boarding just to save a few dollars.  I am hoping we can at least walk around the port and get lunch and drinks off the ship for some local options.  If the cruise line says no, only way to get off is through an excursion then more ship time.  

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19 minutes ago, Jaymac Radio said:

Now I only see one problem with there testing guidelines. It seems like no at pier testing for guest.  

I believe testing in the terminal would occur in some cases during secondary screening, but not for all guests arriving at the pier.  

As stated in the report, the desire is to avoid people who are positive from traveling to the embarkation point (Terminal).  If testing is done at the terminal then other guests are potentially exposed.  If testing is done at home before leaving for the terminal then anyone with a positive test result can avoid going to the terminal which reduces opportunity for spread to other guests during the check in process.

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1 hour ago, Pima1988 said:

I don't know how they can enforce the non-RCL excursions.  Look at Bermuda as an example.  Many people hop on the pink bus, take a taxi, or rent scooters to go to Horseshoe instead of paying the price of RCL.  How will they verify that they did any of the those three options?  Are they not going to let you off the ship?

Most likely, yeah.  My guess would be that to get off you have to have an excursion ticket (through them or a verified one) and if you venture away from your excursion group then you're not allowed back on board.  MSC did exactly that.

50 minutes ago, HeWhoWaits said:

Lots of "should" in the recommendations. The word "should" makes all those things optional. Can't see any official requirements using that term.

Best thing to remember though is these are the guidelines they're proposing, not a solid plan for what's going to happen. I would guess (and I do mean guess) that they have more detailed plans internally that will be shared once the CDC approves sailing and things get closer to actually happening.  There's a ton of leeway in these which is a good thing when you're starting and putting together a plan that could be used by multiple lines, but they did mention several times that informing everyone, including passengers well ahead of time of specific details is an important part of the plan.

 

29 minutes ago, twangster said:

I believe testing in the terminal would occur in some cases during secondary screening, but not for all guests arriving at the pier.  

As stated in the report, the desire is to avoid people who are positive from traveling to the embarkation point (Terminal).  If testing is done at the terminal then other guests are potentially exposed.  If testing is done at home before leaving for the terminal then anyone with a positive test result can avoid going to the terminal which reduces opportunity for spread to other guests during the check in process.

Yup, and personally I'm all for testing before I leave.  I actually really like this requirement. They do mention, several times, the possibility of rapid testing at the terminal too (a lot of it referring to crew, but some of it to guests as well):

"Panel recommends a minimum of 1 and preferably 2 preboard negative SARS-CoV-2 test results for guests and a minimum of 2 preboard and 1 post-quarantine negative SARS- CoV-2 test results for crew members, presuming feasibility of rapid testing at the pier."

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The requirement to book cruise line excursions is not unexpected and understandable given the need to maintain the "bubble" as much as possible from start to finish.  

The comment that they should should consider the cost of shore excursions to make them more cost attractive is encouraging.

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2 hours ago, DublinFC said:

I am taking this information, and the rest of the panel's report,  as a positive sign that we can get the ships back in the water and sailing again.  I hope the CDC agrees with the panel's report.

I agree.  I am willing to do whatever they require.  Like I said, if the pools are closed and they have removed 50% of the loungers, it will be no biggie to me because I have a balcony with loungers.  

I have no problem doing RCL excursions, just let me cruise.

Guessing the sad fact will be The Quest will no longer exist for at least a while.

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A few randomly organized thoughts on all this:

First of all, this all sounds very similar to the other cruise lines, which was expected. I also think that the urgency to get this out there FIRST THING in the morning on the day after the CDC's comment period ended seems like a good sign that at least RCG and NCL are interested in a slow start on November 1st, if things go their way. 

Tests: Testing before getting to the port seems far wiser than testing at the port. However, a couple things on this; say one gets tested five days before and doesn't have test results by sail date? Some places seems to give quick test results, but I have also heard of it taking a week or more. What does one do then? What about if one tests five delays before and gets a positive result 47 hours before sailing (for example). Will they still have the option for a refund, or a retest if not?  I also saw a mention of false negatives, but no mention of false positives. Would a retest be possible, or should those who really want to sail get two tests *just in case*? If they do institute quick testing at the port, say 30 minute results, and one does get a positive, is there the option to retest in case of a false positive? Lots of questions there that should be addressed by Royal before sailing. 

Masks: I expected about what this says about masks. Regardless of personal views on masks, which vary greatly, I have always felt bad for retail employees forced to play mask police. I hope this is not the role that all cruise staff are subjected to. I'm wondering how enforcement will be handled, especially with people coming in from all different states/political views.

Theaters: Will shows resume? I saw some mention of theater seating being spaced out, which makes me hopeful there will be shows, even if socially distanced! I miss live entertainment!

Temperature checks: Seeing as everyone on the ship might do something entirely different every day, how would temperature checks daily be enforced? Would they go stateroom to stateroom? More likely, on entry to MDR before dinner?

 

It should be interesting to see how this all plays out. I'm hopeful for cruises resuming soon!

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.

36 minutes ago, Pima1988 said:

I agree.  I am willing to do whatever they require.  Like I said, if the pools are closed and they have removed 50% of the loungers, it will be no biggie to me because I have a balcony with loungers.  

 

This^^^^^

I am already researching rapid testing sites in my area, fingers crossed. Many listed like CVS drive through but appointment needed, I'll take 3 tests please, can we sail now???? I believe like myself most who want to sail will do everything in their power to practice healthy behaviors so we can show early on this can be done safely. If I can go to the supermarket I can sail; especially at lower capacity. I'm so ready, mindful, respectful of others, did I say I'm ready? LET.US.SAIL!!!!

@nate91 (great point!) Also the masks! Yikes I hate them...BUT, if I want to go somewhere and participate with others I feel it is my option to either wear them as expected or go home where I can be mask-less. While I am not a mask fan I will do whatever is required of me to participate in my sailing, so easy right? Hopefully everyone stepping on the ship feels the same.  No policing needed, why can't it just be that simple? The crew is under enough pressure.  Respect what is being asked to participate, and enjoy the sailing, rant over!

**I'm trying to figure out how to glue on those dastardly fake long eyelashes so I can smile more with my eye's 🙂

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15 minutes ago, nate91 said:

Masks: I expected about what this says about masks. Regardless of personal views on masks, which vary greatly, I have always felt bad for retail employees forced to play mask police. I hope this is not the role that all cruise staff are subjected to. I'm wondering how enforcement will be handled, especially with people coming in from all different states/political views.

I am one of those retailers.  I have to play mask police everyday.  I have had customers argue with me, telling me it is not a law or mandate.  The only thing I can say is, that for our company we require everyone to wear a mask.  IMPO that is exactly what RCL is saying.  It is their company and they can set regulations regarding health and safety.

The problem that does occur in the retail world and I suspect will happen on the ships is: You become use to everyone wearing a mask, thus, you look at their eyes only.  Eventually, there will be someone that doesn't wear it and it will take quite sometime before you realize OMG they don't have a mask on.  That is when the ire comes out from the customer whom you ask to place on a mask.  They will eventually says it is not a law.  In turn, our response is:  Yes, but our company has made it a requirement.

I don't get the argument regarding the mask.  In VA there is not one place you can go to without a sign saying NO MASK = NO ENTRY.

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