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Pence/Cruise Line industry call rescheduled for this afternoon.


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43 minutes ago, nate91 said:

Apparently CDC Director Robert Redfield and Richard Fain are in the conference. Oh to be a fly on the wall (or Pence's head) in that meeting as they go head to head. From what I've heard Redfield is very against cruises starting back up in the foreseeable future.

Redfield needs to get on a cruise with the deluxe beverage package, unlimited dining and the most expensive suite. He obviously has never been on a cruise! 

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Ok so ill start by stating I'm canadian if that helps explain my confusion. Everyone is hoping the white house overturns the CDC and gets cruises going. But I'd be wearing of anything that comes from the present residents of the white house.... just wondering...LOL

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58 minutes ago, Jill said:

Redfield needs to get on a cruise with the deluxe beverage package, unlimited dining and the most expensive suite. He obviously has never been on a cruise! 

Has he even heard the "Wash your Hands" song? Does he know that it was actually around pre-COVID? He'll be humming that little diddy all the way back to DC!

3 minutes ago, Scrumps said:

Report coming out that Pence says no sail order will expire on Oct 30.

Don't get me excited for no reason now haha! It's not official until @Matt posts it haha! 😄 

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1 hour ago, Marlena said:

Ok so ill start by stating I'm canadian if that helps explain my confusion. Everyone is hoping the white house overturns the CDC and gets cruises going. But I'd be wearing of anything that comes from the present residents of the white house.... just wondering...LOL

Not everything is black or white, hard left or hard right.  Plenty of us live in the middle of the political spectrum.  Being centered means liking some things from one party and liking other things from the other party.  Nothing everything coming from either party is 100% congruent with my thinking.  Not enjoying all the theatrics of some key players doesn't equate to automatically objecting to everything they do for no reason other than they did it.

I want to see cruises start up again in America.  They need to save the industry and to keep all the workers in related industries with food on their family's table.  If cruises restart and there are massive outbreaks that result then we can look to address that situation but we should not assume that outcome is inevitable.   

Florida opened a little too much this past summer and when the numbers went up they scaled back.  They didn't lock down when the numbers spiked, they let off the accelerator and numbers came down.  The cruise industry needs the same opportunity.  With everything we have learned and what treatments work it's time to give the cruise industry an opportunity to display they can operate safely.  If numbers trend up as a result then they can scale back without going full lockdown on the entire cruise industry.  If Carnival has outbreaks don't lock down Royal or NCL, deal with Carnival's failures while learning from the lines that aren't having outbreaks. 

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22 minutes ago, nate91 said:

Pretty unclear.

My takeaway is Pence takes healthy sail recommendations to its COVID task force and present findings to Trump.

Assuming no outbreaks in Europe, or significant rise of cases in Florida, the order may very well be lifted at end of October. But it sounds like they are waiting until the end of the month to make that decision.

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It's hard not to look at things without some political awareness given the President is involved.  Florida has been quick to embrace the approach the White House has suggested throughout parts of the pandemic response.  Right or wrong isn't the point of this post.  From a political perspective Florida has been a supportive ally and that may have been leveraged to make this meeting happen and that might influence where it goes from here.

Embracing job creation and a return to normalcy is consistent with the administration's mantra.  Trump has little to lose by embracing the decision to restart and it could sway some Florida voters his way.  Opponents are so accustomed to objecting to everything he does it becomes background noise when they complain about the latest whatever.  

I could see Trump supporting a restart.  Playing it safe and being scared of the virus just isn't his thing.

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Thinking out loud for a moment, the administration has placed themselves in an awkward position.  

If they don't embrace the cruising restart they admit the virus is dangerous and warrants caution. That flies in the face of virtually everything they are saying and doing right now.  

None of the cruise line safety protocols are being used in public schools so how can they say cruise ships with lots of safety protocols are too dangerous but schools, churches and businesses without the same protocols are safe?

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12 hours ago, twangster said:

Thinking out loud for a moment, the administration has placed themselves in an awkward position.  

If they don't embrace the cruising restart they admit the virus is dangerous and warrants caution. That flies in the face of virtually everything they are saying and doing right now.  

None of the cruise line safety protocols are being used in public schools so how can they say cruise ships with lots of safety protocols are too dangerous but schools, churches and businesses without the same protocols are safe?

100 times this..  FL is a toss up, his argument is that biden wants to shutdown the country. He wants to open it up and jobs.. It would go against everything they are saying to keep cruises shutdown.

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Ya'll know where I stand on re-opening in general and restarting cruise operations out of US ports. Opponents of restarting, like the CDC's Redfield, can offer reasonable arguments for not lifting the no-sail order. These are based primarily on the increased risk of congregate settings for the spread of the virus. There's no getting around that .... congregate settings increase the risk of viral spread.

Supporters of re-opening, like myself, counter that while risks cannot be reduced to zero, they can be mitigated. (see the Safe-To-Sail Plan). With mitigation measures in place, the question of cost to the pertinent economy v. public health benefits comes into play (see the Trump administration's general approach to the pandemic).  The foregoing pretty much summarizes where we are with restarting cruising.

We're all trying to piece together information we see in the public space that signals which side of the argument is going to prevail. Will we be cruising, albeit on a limited basis, on December first or not? Here are some of the facts that bear on that question that I know of:

  • Carnival Corp. has taken a decidedly more aggressive position on restarting from FL ports than RCG or NCL. It appears their plan, however and as we expected, is limited to a couple of ships and a couple of ports (Port Canaveral and Miami). A restart could be as early as the first or second week in November.
  • Carnival Corp.'s brands, TUI and MSC are either already operating large cruise ships on a limited basis in Europe and Asia or will be operating within weeks. This gives MSC and Carnival Corp. a leg up in restarting from FL ports.
  • To my knowledge and based on current information, only a few Caribbean ports will be open to cruise ships. I'd list the private islands, Cozumel, Cancun for sure, the others remain mostly closed or with disembarkation protocols in place that would prevent them from being viable ports of call. That could rapidly change and I suspect the cruise lines who are in contact with local health authorities know a lot more about Caribbean cruise port prospects for opening than are going to be known to us.
  • There's plenty of chatter on social media that Navigator is recalling crew. This article from cruise critic talking about this has been linked to in this forum: https://www.cruisecritic.com/news/5647
  • Business news is full of stories like the link to the video in this thread above that provide all kinds of hints that the administration, in this case in the face of VP Pence, is going to green-light the resumption of cruise line operations from US ports for economic reasons given mitigation measures inherent in the Safe-To-Sail Plan (STSP).

To me, this is a proper approach dependent on the administration's, and mine, of a calculation of risks/costs/benefits. In other words, implementing the STSP off sets the risks that cruise ships pose a risk to the public's health inherent in congregate settings. This allows an important industry and an entire economic sector that the cruise industry is a part of to rebound. My view is that Redfield's argument and the CDC's position is not well founded but remains a viable one. That is the case only when the costs of continued shuttering of the cruise industry are ignored.  

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........ the political aspects of the argument over whether to continue to shutter or restart cruse ship operations gets a little squishy. The left tends to ignore the costs while hammering home the spread of the virus and number of deaths. The right ignores most of that claiming the left distorts C-19 disease impact emphasizing the costs to the cruise industry and travel and leisure sector of the economy.

In the polarized political climate the US is in right now, It is difficult to get accurate, fact based information to inform a rational view point. As is usually the case, a rational position considers both sides and a compromise is fashioned. Not gonna happen with the political players on stage at present at least this is true in the public space. You're on your own there. Hopefully officials that will actually decide the fate of cruising in 2020 in the next few weeks are better informed than we are.

Some facts you may be interested in:

FL's R(t) - a measure of virus control has been below 1.0 (indicates virus is not spreading) for 2 weeks.  https://rt.live/

You can look at FL's COVID Dashboard and see that the counties where cruise ports are located (Broward, Miami Dade, for example) have daily positivity rates below 5% (indicates virus is not spreading locally). https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/

According to news reports, this is what decision makers at the federal level will look at to make a decision to extend or let the NSO expire.

The two links above will help you to know the facts as reported by PH agencies instead of the hype, more often than not to be wrong or misleading, coming from social media and the mainstream press.

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