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Off To A Bad Start In The Caribbean !!


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46 minutes ago, princevaliantus said:

Agreed not a good start. However were this not on a ship where there's extensive testing it could of potentially infected numerous people. Were this at a theme park or hotel we'd all be none the wiser (assuming the person was asymptomatic). This goes back to the old argument of ships harbouring more germs than other holiday locations, they don't, they just have to report them.

So bad that someone has the illness, good that it's been picked up quickly.

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1 hour ago, AndrewPunch said:

Now for the big question,  Did a passenger/crew not follow the protocol or did the process not work?

SeaDream was NOT using Healthy Sail Panel protocols.

Here's photos of staff not wearing masks on embarkation day. They later put masks on after being heavily criticized

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Andy & Sheryl Unwin said:

Thinking on the positive side for a moment. This proves the early detection measures and monitoring are effective, and notice everyone was isolated immediately to mitigate contacts and spreading.

Well done says I

 

 

That's a very good point. 1 case out of 500+ passengers is what you want to see in terms of testing and isolation.

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1 case on a ship and the world freaks out.  

142,000 new cases on land in the US alone and it's just another day for the news.  

The protocols worked.  It was discovered and they isolated.  It did not become a mass infection for everyone onboard. 

Lessons can be learned, protocols improved (such as the mask issue).  Next cruise please.    

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1 hour ago, Matt said:

That's a very good point. 1 case out of 500+ passengers is what you want to see in terms of testing and isolation.

! case out of 500+ passengers is fine BUT what should be asked is has it spread to any other individuals, cruise passengers or crew memebers? Why quarantine all 500+ passengers if it didn't spread? Why wasn't the protocol followed prior to passengers & crew interaction? What else is the cruise line hiding???

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Here's my take on this...

Transmission is an ever-present possibility wherever one may be - plane, theme park, cruise ship.  The only difference is that on a cruise ship out at sea, COVID patients who need more treatment and equipment than the ship's medical facilities can provide will have to be "medivacked" to land.  That would present a logistical challenge.  For the people in my circle who died from this disease, their conditions deteriorated very quickly.  I hope it doesn't happen to any passenger when cruising resumes.

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3 hours ago, princevaliantus said:

! case out of 500+ passengers is fine BUT what should be asked is has it spread to any other individuals, cruise passengers or crew memebers? Why quarantine all 500+ passengers if it didn't spread? Why wasn't the protocol followed prior to passengers & crew interaction? What else is the cruise line hiding???

That's true. And FWIW, this cruise line did NOT use the Healthy Sail Panel recommendations.

My expectation is this would not cause a full ship quarantine on RC if 1 person was identified as positive, per the 74 recommendations.

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6 hours ago, Matt said:

SeaDream was NOT using Healthy Sail Panel protocols.

Here's photos of staff not wearing masks on embarkation day. They later put masks on after being heavily criticized

 

 

I watched a YouTube video of this cruise last weekend and also noticed that crew were not wearing masks

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9 minutes ago, princevaliantus said:

The question that Still Remains is how did the passenger catch it?

Even under the best circumstances, (IE PCR after one of the brain scratching swabs) testing in the early part of the disease is not conclusive. That's why frequent testing combined with rigorous contact tracing is a must.

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9 hours ago, bretts173 said:

Latest update an American family who boarded in Barbados. 5 of the 6 currently positive and 1 with antibodies.

 

 

There it is!! The American with the antibodies was most likely the spreader since he/she was exposed and has antibodies. Most likely was still asymptomatic, COVID results were false or didn't test at all prior to boarding ship.

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56 minutes ago, crisgold52 said:

Yup no surprise. I think it's the air or hvac. If it can happen on a ship of 53 with three rounds of testing then help us of it happens on a ship of 1500 or more. At least it will be a poor experience for all guests on board who will undoubtedly have more restricting placed on them by the ships company. Sure it will still be a vacation but with cases its be a sour one. 

It seems that we have all forgotten the continued success in cruising in Singapore and in Europe? Not every sailing will be perfect, flawless or without error.  You also cannot compare Royal Caribbean to a yacht. There are a lot of technical intricacies that involve in proofing either one of these companies and thier ships. Let's also keep in mind that this yacht left from Barbados. Not the United States which if they were, they would be bound by U.S. CDC recommendations. THIS is the positive side of the story.

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2 hours ago, princevaliantus said:

It seems that we have all forgotten the continued success in cruising in Singapore and in Europe? Not every sailing will be perfect, flawless or without error.  You also cannot compare Royal Caribbean to a yacht. There are a lot of technical intricacies that involve in proofing either one of these companies and thier ships. Let's also keep in mind that this yacht left from Barbados. Not the United States which if they were, they would be bound by U.S. CDC recommendations. THIS is the positive side of the story.

Yes true, but the other factor here is the positives started from a group of Americans who travelled to Barbados to board. Why any country would allow this to happen is beyond me. 180K cases in one day and growing. Mask policy doesnt seem to be working the only thing that seems to is the suppression of movement and social interaction.

 

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I just reviewed an article in the Economist (paywalled) at another site and I'm going to post that review here and then comment about how it applies to the Sea Dream and by extension, the major lines planning to cruise from US ports or are already cruising in Europe and Asia.

Finally, before we all go and watch CFB ....... another great article from the Economist. This one gets a little technical. I've touted testing here as a panacea in combating the spread of the virus. Experts agree it is but there are important caveats that I wasn't aware of in any kind of specific way. We know the RT/PCR is the gold standard but it takes too much time to be of much use beyond a diagnostic tool. It sucks for screening and surveillance - the stuff you want to do at airports, on cruise ships, going to concerts or large scale events.

The problem for screening and surveillance is that not only does the test need to deliver results quickly, like in a matter of minutes, but also it has to be accurate enough to prevent leakers who are actually infected but for what ever reasons tested negative falsely. That's bad news for people, for example, at a football game crammed into their seats thinking so-and-so strangers to their left and right aren't COVID + when, they actually are. Right now, RAPID antigen tests aren't very accurate; antibody tests like the BINAX-NOW are more accurate. The value of a true positive or negative is affected by a number of things two of them being if the person being tested has symptoms and/or the prevalence of the disease in the locale where the testing is being done. It goes way up when a person actually has symptoms AND where the disease is present and way down when these two factors aren't present.

The chart below demonstrates this:

Click image for larger version  Name: Testing.JPG Views: 0 Size: 76.4 KB ID: 1712570

Here's the key point going forward:

For now, rapid tests are licensed for use only by medical professionals. The regulatory bar for stand-alone home tests is high. They must be 99% accurate and pass extensive usability trials to ensure that people employ them correctly. That would be easier if the secretion being tested was saliva, which is freely accessible, rather than material found high in the nose or deep in the throat. Saliva does work reliably in some pcr tests but no one has yet devised a good antigen test that uses it.

At the current pace of progress, though, this may soon change. Bruce Tromberg of America’s National Institutes of Health (nih) thinks that a rapid over-the-counter saliva based antigen test could be available in America as early as next summer. Rapid antigen tests are, then, likely to become a big part of countries’ covid-19 testing strategies. In particular, they will be used for testing at home, in doctors’ offices and clinics, and in remote places where pcr laboratories are not available. They will be especially handy for mass testing in places prone to outbreaks, such as large congregate settings, prisons and student dormitories.

https://www.economist.com/science-an...r=nl_special_3

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Comments on my post above:

First, we should dismiss the issues on Sea Dream if, as I have seen posted is true, that they weren't using the STS protocols. This just proves, yeah, we should be using those.

On testing: I think from the Economist article above we can derive that RAPID Antigen tests aren't ideal for screening or surveillance given the basis upon which they are intended to be done for pre-boarding screening. The chance of a leaker who is infected getting through that process is fairly high. I have posted previously that it was my belief that RCL would be using RAPID RT/PCR tests such as BINAX NOW for pre-board screening. I also think part of the STS protocol was going to back up positive RT/PCR tests with a second confirmatory test. That protocol - two tests - seems to be pretty solid, first for making sure leakers don't get through and second, identifying true positives and handling them in accordance with local procedures.

The good news out of the Economist article is that by mid-2021 a RAPID, saliva based, antigen test is going to be available. One test, one result, with 99% accuracy for positive and negatives. I'd feel very good about boarding a ship and sailing on her given that sort of screening accuracy. 

Finally, the grandstanding as it has been properly named here by members of Congress is crap, not based on any realistic evidence and completely uninformed. Unfortunately, that is what we are going to be dealing with as the cruise industry starts to gear back up and restart. I do think, as stupid and uninformed as it is, this kind of thing is going to keep delaying a restart. COVID politics as usual, not to mention the negative impact of a restart due to what I believe is the CDC's designed to fail gating process (hoop jumping) the cruise lines have to deal with.

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6 positves out of a very small ship of 100ish total people. That's pretty bad. Anyone thinking about getting on a boat with 2500 passengers (50% capacity of a big boat) and 1300 or so crew is pretty much taking a huge risk. Even with testing. 

What we need now is complete capitulation until a) this Northern hemisphere winter wave recedes AND b) a vaccine is in place and distributed to enough people to start knocking down the infection rate, not just protecting those that have the vaccine. Both of those things look like it would take until at least 3rd quarter of next year, possibly longer. 

If cruising at scale is started up too early, it will be forced to be stopped again, this time until everything is completely worked out. So patience and capitulation is the key.

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