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Cruise Ship 'No Sail' Order Set to Extend Through October


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The two for twenty t-shirt sale in the promenade:

Allow the cruise industry to restart or keep it shuttered ........ a political decision? I think this is more likely to involve two different viewpoints both of them with supporting data behind them.

Heck, even my Florida hometown ACC team's coach tested positive.  The team still played without him as coach that weekend. I always assumed the point of the initial lockdown was to stop rapid spr

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29 minutes ago, DunwoodyDad said:

I wonder if the meeting in DC is still on today given what’s going on....

I imagine our VP has to review his schedule and might have to re-prioritize his calendar.   Since he leads the CV task force I imagine this is most likely who cruise line execs are scheduled to meet with.   

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The sharing of viewpoints here, in a highly emotionally charged circumstance re COVID/Cruising has been genuinely civil and informative. I've done a bit of sleuthing today. My first resource was the CDC's web page dealing with COVID and cruise lines. There's a lot of information here if you' re interested in learning about the protocols the CDC has imposed on cruise ships operating in US waters or disembarking crew members over the last 4-5 month. The CDC developed a color system to designate the COVID status of only those cruise ships operating in US waters. There only 30, 3 have active COVID case(s), all of them are RCCL ships (Adventure, Mariner and Serenade). RCCL or Celebrity ships make up 22 of the total of 30 ships sailing in US waters and subject to the CDC imposed color coding system for crew management.

The first link is to the CDC's web page that explains the No-Sail-Order and there is a link to the .pdf file that provides justification for the extension of it past 30 September, 2020 . You can be your own judge whether the CDC makes it's case to continue to shutter cruise line operation out of US ports for the benefit of the public's health or not. You'll know I think it is laughable, discriminatory and relies on data points that are 6 months old. It's based on what we knew about the virus 6m ago and utterly fails to recognize the advances in SARS-CoV-2 knowledge, how to best control its spread and most importantly it is completely silent on the Safe-To-Sail commission's report and input to the CDC. Shameful. The second link is to the CDC's Cruise Ship Crew Management protocols and the color coding system.

https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/cruise/index.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/crew-disembarkations-commercial-travel.html

My next resource was the Cruise Industry News web page where an article appears that speculates on the ships that will start cruising in November. It's interesting to see which ships and itineraries this source sees as likely candidates to be sailing with PAX first.

https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/23584-here-are-the-first-cruises-set-to-sail-in-november.html

I was interested in finding out how likely it was that a cruise I'm booked on in December - Celebrity Infinity, 5n, Miami, Key West, Cozumel, Miami sailing the 28th - was in a position to somehow resume cruising in November. The resource I used was CruiseMapper. This is a great resource with cleanly laid out web pages that provide a lot of information. From it I learned that Infinity is currently sailing in the Aegean Sea enroute to Piraeus and is then scheduled to reposition from Lisbon to Miami on November 6th as a scheduled 14n Transatlantic cruise with passengers. After that it is scheduled to do rotating 4n and 5n cruises in the Caribbean, Bahamas and Mexico starting on November 30th. So, if everything false into place - a big if - the cruise I'm booked on will sail.

I could see Piraeus being the point at which a controlled embarkation of a full crew compliment could take place in a  3-4w time frame allowing for appropriate testing and quarantining to form the semi-bubble we've been talking about. Then, the ship's senior staff could conduct a weeks worth of training in the new health and safety protocols. From there, perhaps trial runs with crew and employees as proof of concept sailings. The timing works and allows for Celebrity in this case to implement and test the protocols contained in the Safe-To-Sail commission's report.

If you have cruises booked in November or December of 2020, you can sleuth your way through the possibilities to see if what needs to be done, like I did with Infinity, is doable on your ship. Have fun. It was great therapy for me on a day filled with bad news.

https://www.cruisemapper.com/ships/Celebrity-Infinity-658#:~:text=Celebrity Infinity current location is,en route to VALLETTA MALTA.

  

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By now, anyone reading this blog knows that I am a strong re-opening advocate and support green-lighting cruise industry operations out of US ports. This is an update.

Since Trump's infection with COVID, assessing the risk of C-19, benefits v. costs of mitigation measures has become more difficult. That is because every source of information from public health officials, main stream media (both broadcast and web based) and social media has become almost solely focused on COVID related information that is damaging to Trump.

The purpose of this stream of negative COVID information is most likely to assure a Biden/Harris win such that Trump cannot contest the outcome of the election. It's working if today's polls showing Biden with a 10 point lead over Trump is an indicator of that.

What does that have to do with rescinding or extending the No-sail-Order? A lot ........One would hope that a dialogue is continuing between the Pandemic Response Team, headed by VP Pence and interested parties on the cruise industry side of things. I think that is becoming increasingly difficult and the Team's potential to end the No-Sail-Order and restart cruise operations from US ports is going to fade into the background until after the election.

It's possible that things could perk-up after Pence and Harris face off in the VP debate but other reelection tasks are going to keep Pence busy and not focused on getting everyone together at a round-table to talk about cruising. That's just the political reality of the cruising circumstances that are high on our list of important things to get done. it remains a shameful aspect of the current administration's neglect of an economic sector - the travel and leisure sector -that produces billons of dollars of revenues and wages annually and on a global scale.    

Weighing heavily on the political reality is the reality of US and Caribbean ports actually welcoming back cruise ships should the industry get green-lighted to restart. I just read a Bloomberg article on which Caribbean islands have opened their boarders. It's not a long list and those that are open require testing, quarantining or both. Porting in St. Lucia for example would not be an experience anything like you might have enjoyed previously. 

Now comes a Cat 4 Hurricane barreling though the Caribbean straights, headed for the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico that will likely do extensive damage to Cancun and Cozumel, two potential ports that would probably welcome early start-up cruise ships.

Accordingly, I'm much less optimistic today than a week ago about the potential for a return to cruising in November, let alone December. I wish I could be more up-beat. If we get news in the next week or so that the Pandemic Response Team and VP Pence have gathered interested parties to discuss restarting cruise operations from US ports, I might change my tune. Until then, not feeling great about it happening. 

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Quick update ...... the mess that is political reality continues to weigh heavily on a US economic recovery including getting revenue flowing again for the cruise lines. Yesterday afternoon, the president tweeted he had directed his negotiators to break of stimulus package negotiations with the Democrats - the stock market plunged 345 points.

A few hours later then again late into the night he tweeted he was ready to sign smaller stimulus package bills including $25b to the airlines, $135B for the Pay Check Protection Program and finally $1200 stimulus checks. 

If this actually turns into legislation it could help open the door for discussions led by VP Pence involving the cruise industry's re-start calendar.  But the D's have already opposed smaller packages and Pelosi and Schummer will undoubtedly dig their heels in again. Crazy times.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Gamma, expected to hit the Yucatan Peninsula as a Cat 4 or 5 Hurricane (150mph winds), made landfall as a Cat 2 storm around 5:30am with winds in the town of Cancun reported to have registered 100mph. Tweets indicate some local damage, to what extent isn't clear yet but, Cat 2 is much better than a 5. Most roofs stay put under 120.

So, maybe some hope for December but it seems we've been "hoping" on a month by month basis since the start of this thing only to be gut punched repeatedly causing hope to fade. Logistics - the entire spectrum of them - continue to be, IMO, the biggest hurdle to sailings in December, and that's assuming any dialogue going on right now about greenlighting cruising from US ports results in an end to the No-Sail Order by sometime in November. A restart date then might allow the industry time to assemble crews, train them and make some trial runs before passengers board and sail in December. My confidence level for that happening is low.    

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37 minutes ago, JeffB said:

Quick update ...... the mess that is political reality continues to weigh heavily on a US economic recovery including getting revenue flowing again for the cruise lines. Yesterday afternoon, the president tweeted he had directed his negotiators to break of stimulus package negotiations with the Democrats - the stock market plunged 345 points.

A few hours later then again late into the night he tweeted he was ready to sign smaller stimulus package bills including $25b to the airlines, $135B for the Pay Check Protection Program and finally $1200 stimulus checks. 

If this actually turns into legislation it could help open the door for discussions led by VP Pence involving the cruise industry's re-start calendar.  But the D's have already opposed smaller packages and Pelosi and Schummer will undoubtedly dig their heels in again. Crazy times.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Gamma, expected to hit the Yucatan Peninsula as a Cat 4 or 5 Hurricane (150mph winds), made landfall as a Cat 2 storm around 5:30am with winds in the town of Cancun reported to have registered 100mph. Tweets indicate some local damage, to what extent isn't clear yet but, Cat 2 is much better than a 5. Most roofs stay put under 120.

So, maybe some hope for December but it seems we've been "hoping" on a month by month basis since the start of this thing only to be gut punched repeatedly causing hope to fade. Logistics - the entire spectrum of them - continue to be, IMO, the biggest hurdle to sailings in December, and that's assuming any dialogue going on right now about greenlighting cruising from US ports results in an end to the No-Sail Order by sometime in November. A restart date then might allow the industry time to assemble crews, train them and make some trial runs before passengers board and sail in December. My confidence level for that happening is low.    

Please let's keep politics and non-related cruise discussions out of this. This tends to open doors to different opinions and that's how disagreements start.

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This was posted in another thread (link below) but I find it interesting and it falls into my good news/optimistic bin. So, I'll comment on it.

RCG's apparent preparation of Navigator to restart sailing on a trial basis out of Miami in October was reported in the link. This was a couple of hours before RCG cancelled scheduled November sailings.

The toxic politics surrounding the general election have very likely affected the planned meeting between VP Pence's Pandemic Response Team and interested parties in the Cruise industry. However, we have heard Fain report that "dialogue continues." On what level is uncertain but that's a positive in a sea of yesterday's bad news.

It may be logistically hard to get ships operational, staffed and trained, as well as make test runs starting November 1st and then have ships ready to sail with revenue generating passengers that same month. Cancelling November sailings then might allow all the prep work to get done with a 1 December resumption of revenue sailings.

My optimism tank just got a refill.

     

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Spoke with my TA this morning regarding my cancelled cruise.  She told me Carnival is the guinea pig who will start up in November.  Two ships to sail 2 & 5 day itineraries from Canaveral and Miami.    Will sail at 50% capacity.   All filled up.  Any one else hear this?

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17 hours ago, cruisellama said:

Spoke with my TA this morning regarding my cancelled cruise.  She told me Carnival is the guinea pig who will start up in November.  Two ships to sail 2 & 5 day itineraries from Canaveral and Miami.    Will sail at 50% capacity.   All filled up.  Any one else hear this?

Carnival has been saying for a while that they were cancelling all but a handful of ships to sail from Canaveral and Miami, definitely seems to be their plan ... whether they get CDC clearance is up in the air.

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3 minutes ago, jticarruthers said:

Carnival has been saying for a while that they were cancelling all but a handful of ships to sail from Canaveral and Miami, definitely seems to be their plan ... whether they get CDC clearance is up in the air.

Exactly -  they need to get CDC clearance first - but apparently leaning forward  what they would need to do for Nov restart.  We need to see someone start on this side of the world and exercise protocols if we expect some level normalcy to return next year.  These first test runs will be awkward from a vacation perspective.

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On 10/7/2020 at 12:03 PM, cruisellama said:

Spoke with my TA this morning regarding my cancelled cruise.  She told me Carnival is the guinea pig who will start up in November.  Two ships to sail 2 & 5 day itineraries from Canaveral and Miami.    Will sail at 50% capacity.   All filled up.  Any one else hear this?

Carnival canceled all November sailings this morning 

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On 10/12/2020 at 4:29 PM, cruisellama said:

So much for that prediction.  Would't have been the best guinea pig to start the experiment with.

Costa (Carnival) is launching it flagship Costa Smeralda (3rd ship) from Italy this weekend.  So as the lines are unable to sail out of the US, the protocol testing is happening in Europe.   Its progress.

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I like objective data not claims of a "fact" related to the COVID pandemic without data to back it up.  For example, the WHO claims lots of things to include the virus spreads via aerosols. Subsequently and within days, they backed away from that claim and say "we only know it's airborne." The reason behind the fall-back by the WHO was a lack of data to back up their claim. Claims of fact are one thing. Without data they are empty claims.

Matt posted the announcement by RCG results of a study conducted by the University of Nebraska's Medical Center onboard the Oasis of the Seas confirming that cross-contamination of air between adjacent public spaces is extremely low, and undetectable in most test cases. The study marked particles < 1 micron in size (considered to be aerosols) and then injected them into a space aboard ship. Next it followed these particles with equipment designed to detect if they passed through the ship. They didn't. IOW, even if the virus gets introduced in this congregate setting, it's not going to spread in aerosol form (the only way they can do that) via the ship's air handling systems. This was one of the claims, one of the facts, advanced by CDC that isn't supported by objective data.

Just want to be perfectly clear about the value of data backed assertions compared to well, it could be or it might be sort of facts. Here's another example. The CDC alleges it's risky to fly and the longer the flight the higher the risk of becoming infected with COVID from an otherwise asymptomatic COVID positive passenger.  Don't get on airplanes or cruise ships if you are otherwise at higher risk for becoming infected. Given this very public claim, given that it is frequently augmented by the media, you'd be afraid to jump on an airplane to get to a cruise port, right?

Don't be.  

Results from the Boeing 777-200 and 767-300 airframes showed a minimum reduction of 99.7% of 1 µm simulated virus aerosol from the index source to passengers seated directly next to the source. An average 99.99% reduction was measured for the 40+ breathing zones tested in each section of both airframes. Rapid dilution, mixing and purging of aerosol from the index source was observed due to both airframes’ high air exchange rates, downward ventilation design, and HEPA-filtered recirculation. Contamination of surfaces from aerosol sources was minimal, and DNA-tagged 3 µm tracers agreed well with real-time fluorescent results. Transmission model calculations using the measured aerosol breathing zone penetration data indicates an extremely unlikely aerosol exposure risk for a 12 hour flight when using a 4,000 virion/hour shedding rate and 1,000 virion infectious dose.

https://www.ustranscom.mil/cmd/docs/TRANSCOM Report Final.pdf

We should not be fearful of flying on commercial aircraft to get from point A to point B even when the flight is even 12 hours long. The data does not support CDC's recommendations not to fly for leisure. It appears this is another example of unsupported advice coming from the CDC, crushing a sector of the travel and leisure industry, in it's role of prevention. There should be no surprise that people don't trust them anymore with it's trustworthiness ratings among Americans plummeting.

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CruiseRadio published a story today detailing Costa Cruise Lines early termination of a Mediterranean charter cruise for French passengers. The ship will port in Genoa to discharge passengers. The reason was not that COVID protocols were not working aboard ship. They were. There were no COVID infections reported among crew or passengers. The reason was the increasing number of new cases in France and to allow French passengers to get home quickly and safely.

This is the kind of thing we are going to see with any re-start. Officials on both sides of this - cruise line execs and public health authorities ashore - are going to have a very low threshold for pulling the plug on early runs of cruise ships.

As I have written previously, new case numbers taken out of context are a poor indicator of COVID risk and disease burden. Regardless, this is the expert's standard and it has become baked in as THE measure for relaxing or tightening mitigation measures.

 https://cruiseradio.net/mediterranean-cruise-ends-early-over-worsening-outbreak-in-france/  

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In related news, Bahamas Paradise Cruise announced that it will sail one of its two ships from Florida on December 18th. Their CEO stated in the announcement, “We’re very pleased with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) decision to lift its No-Sail Order on October 31st, 2020. The past few months have been an incredible challenge for the cruise industry at large, and we’re thrilled to welcome our guests aboard for what we know is a much-needed getaway to Grand Bahama Island.”

Interesting on its face. What does this company know that the others don't ...... or did this guy just spill the beans.

https://cruiseradio.net/cruise-line-announces-december-2020-return-with-one-ship/

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