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Has anyone yet heard any rumblings as to whether back to back cruises will be allowed in light of the new seven day restriction?

Mine were booked in June prior to the recent increase the CDC has put on alerts I have not received a notification that I need to cancel one at this point maybe it’s just too early to be worrying about it but I’m curious what other people have heard of anything

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The CSO states:

  • The cruise ship operator must not sail or offer to sail on an itinerary longer than 7 days. CDC may shorten or lengthen the number of days permitted to sail based on public health considerations and as set forth in technical instructions or orders.

Allowing passengers to sail longer than 7 days (i.e. B2B) would violate this paragraph of the CSO.

The federal government has established that a passenger contract is from their original embarkation to their final debarking.  CBP for example looks at the entire time on a ship for the purposes of enforcing the PVSA.    Legal precedence has been established for this.  Foreign airlines would love to bypass cabotage laws in this fashion but they too are faced with the same federal government determination.

A 3/4 B2B is allowed.  A 3/3 B2B would be allowed.  Any passenger who is allowed to sail or even to book a B2B that exceeds 7 days is in violation of the CSO and the CDC could shut down the cruise line for allowing it. 

 

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7 minutes ago, twangster said:

The cruise ship operator must not sail or offer to sail on an itinerary longer than 7 days.

Not to argue with you but the cruise lines consider B2B cruises as 2 seperate cruises.  Totally independent of each other.  That being the case there is nothing to stop me from doing a B2B.  The cruise line is only offering 2 separate 7 day cruises.  There is no violation of any stupid CDC policy.

 

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3 minutes ago, PaulRC said:

Not to argue with you but the cruise lines consider B2B cruises as 2 seperate cruises.  Totally independent of each other.  That being the case there is nothing to stop me from doing a B2B.  The cruise line is only offering 2 separate 7 day cruises.  There is no violation of any stupid CDC policy.

 

It doesn't matter what the cruise lines think about B2B being 2 separate cruises.

If you sail from Hawaii to Vancouver and stay on the ship for a B2B to Seattle you are in violation of federal law.   The federal government doesn't care that the cruise lines see this as two separate cruises.  The federal government views you embarking originally in Hawaii and debarking finally in Seattle.  You could stay on the ship for 10 cruises in a row.  The federal government views the entire session as one contract of carriage.  

The federal government ended up having to take this approach because the cruise lines tried to get around the law by offering these trips as two seperate cruises.  

If the CDC enforced this and it ended up in court the cruise lines would lose.  Legal precedence has been established.  

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4 minutes ago, twangster said:

f you sail from Hawaii to Vancouver and stay on the ship for a B2B to Seattle you are in violation of federal law

The difference is on a B2B you have to disembark the cruise then re-board for the new cruise.  They are purchased as 2 different trips with 2 different booking numbers. It is not one cruise.  The CDC says the cruise lines can not offer / sell any cruise longer then 7 days.  They have not.  It does not say someone can not do 2 cruises whether separated by 1 day or 12 hours.

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14 minutes ago, PaulRC said:

The difference is on a B2B you have to disembark the cruise then re-board for the new cruise.  They are purchased as 2 different trips with 2 different booking numbers. It is not one cruise.  The CDC says the cruise lines can not offer / sell any cruise longer then 7 days.  They have not.  It does not say someone can not do 2 cruises whether separated by 1 day or 12 hours.

The federal government has long viewed B2B as one "ticket" for the purpose of enforcing federal law.  

It doesn't matter that you get off and right back on.  It doesn't matter that you have different booking numbers.  The only way not to be in violation of federal law on these cruises is to spend a night off the ship in between the two cruises.

Royal accidently let people book and board Ovation last year from Hawaii to Vancouver and the next cruise to Alaska that ended in Seattle.  When they realized their mistake they took the guests off in Victoria and put them up in a hotel for one night at Royal's expense allowing them to reboard the next cruise in Vancouver the next day to Alaska onward to Seattle.  They had no choice because it violated federal law.  

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I disagree @twangster. I believe you're inferring what the CDC believes, and until they specify an issue with B2B, there is no reason to believe they look at consecutive cruises as anything more than two cruises in a row.

The CSO goes into great detail about what cruises line can and cannot do. They would certainly specify if there was an issue with B2B.

All that being said, CDC has no idea a B2B is a thing in cruising.  They constantly refer to cruises in terms of days instead of nights. 

Not saying they may not amend things as they go on, but they're not going to leave something as important as not permitting passengers on multiple cruises and putting permission to cruise in jeopardy(as you suggest) without actually stating that.  

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The CDC has no operational experience with cruises.  I doubt they even considered that someone would take a B2B.  

It's all a moot point.  The reality is that the CSO was put forward because they were directed not to extend the NSO.  It's the same thing with a different name.  Ships won't sail until the CDC wants them to.  By that point the risk of infection will be so low and the bulk of the population vaccinated.  By that point they won't care that someone is taking a B2B.  

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25 minutes ago, twangster said:

The reality is that the CSO was put forward because they were directed not to extend the NSO.  It's the same thing with a different name.

The longer it goes, the more it seems that way. I was (and still am) hoping they are operating as an honest broker in all of this.

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I was watching Don's Family Vacations (or maybe it was La Lido Loca) back in November when this came up.  They said that Princess would not allow B2B cruises as they viewed it as a violation of the order.  I'm not sure that position is universally accepted by all cruisers or cruise lines though.

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5 hours ago, twangster said:

I don't like it either but if the CDC catches a cruise line bypassing the intent of their order it's not going to end well for the cruise line. 

On the other hand if the situation with the virus is much better in America when they begin allowing cruises maybe the CDC will let it slide.   

I think it's going to depend on what the intent of the 7 day rule is.  Is it to make sure that no passengers are onboard the ship > 7 days?  Then I would agree with you.  Is it to make sure that the ship is always within 3 days of getting back to port?  If that is the intent of the rule, I don't feel the the CDC would care if "Super Mario" starts living onboard again.

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8 hours ago, twangster said:

The federal government has long viewed B2B as one "ticket" for the purpose of enforcing federal law.  

It doesn't matter that you get off and right back on.  It doesn't matter that you have different booking numbers.  The only way not to be in violation of federal law on these cruises is to spend a night off the ship in between the two cruises.

Royal accidently let people book and board Ovation last year from Hawaii to Vancouver and the next cruise to Alaska that ended in Seattle.  When they realized their mistake they took the guests off in Victoria and put them up in a hotel for one night at Royal's expense allowing them to reboard the next cruise in Vancouver the next day to Alaska onward to Seattle.  They had no choice because it violated federal law.  

What document provides that the federal document the view that two consecutive cruises is a single ticket?   I could see that interpretation if the trip is viewed as consecutive sea days on a ship - ie interrupted as a passenger cannot spend more than 7 days at sea on a passenger liner.   (But that's not how the rule is written)   When in reality consecutive cruises are separate bookings, tickets, and trips.   At the completion of the first cruise,  the passenger must disembark and clear customs, then can turn around and enter through an embarkation process for the next cruise.     What about cruises that leave from Europe or Asia?  I guess the CDC will need to notify the EU/Asian partners not to let American sail on consecutive cruises.  I think not.

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37 minutes ago, cruisellama said:

What document provides that the federal document the view that two consecutive cruises is a single ticket?  

19 C.F.R. § 4.80- Vessels Entitled to Engage in Coastwise Trade

  • Non-coastwise-qualified vessels that transport passengers between coastwise points will be penalized $300 for each passenger transported and landed on or before November 2, 2015 and $798 for each passenger transported and landed after November 2, 2015.

The thing about law is that it doesn't have to explicitly define or state the verbiage you seek.  Over time as law is tested and applied in court cases these rulings establish precedence.   

In the case of cruises involving Hawaii NCL filed a complaint.  They have a "coastwise" qualified vessel offering passengers services and are therefore exempt from the PVSA in Hawaii.  When foreign companies who were not exempt from the PVSA offered similar passenger services they filed a complaint.  The legal proceedings determined that the practice of booking two consecutive cruises in this manner was to circumvent the intent of the PVSA.  The outcome was that cruise lines were put on notice that two separate cruises could not be used to circumvent federal law.  

in this case "transport passengers between coastwise points" does not contain a time constraint or definition that one ticket is the instrument involved.  At the end of the day if a vessel that is not coastwise qualified takes you between two US ports they are in violation of the law.  

I'm confident there was likely a foreign company (or many) in the late 1800s or early 1900s that tried to find ways around the law.  The laws were created to stop this in the first place so as to protect US fleets.  Legal proceedings followed.  I imagine the foreign captains tried the argument that they didn't sell one ticket, it just so happened that a passenger purchased multiple tickets.  Who knew?  Not our fault!  The courts didn't buy it.  That legal precedent from years ago was likely used in the ruling in the favor of NCL above.

Over the years there have been numerous hearings and rulings where one foreign company or another tried to find a way to circumvent federal maritime law.  It's an ongoing process and there will be new creativity being tried to get around federal law in the future.   

The acts or law themselves are not updated to specifically list the actions that have been found to violate the law but the precedence established along the way accomplishes a similar outcome.  Case law.  

With all that case law at their disposal it is possible any federal legal case can reference this case law.  If a judge accepts it or not is another matter but it will likely find its way into the legal arguments.

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Very interesting reading to my question and I appreciate everybody’s input I guess I’ll just have to wait to see what the cruise line says as I get closer to June and I hope that with vaccines coming out sooner than later the CDC may lower its warning levels  back down to 3 or lower and it may become a moot point

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I have a B2B scheduled in March...March 4th for 4 nights and March 8th for 5 nights out of Fort Lauderdale.

Two days ago I received an email reminder letting me know I was near the final payment date. I made the final payment online and it was accepted. This reminder email was probably automatically generated based upon payment due date so I don’t believe this is the final word. I’ll just wait and see.

As far as making payments are concerned...even if it’s probable that the cruise will be cancelled, I will still make the payment. For me it’s a no-brainer...if and when the cruise is cancelled, my payment comes back as a future cruise credit worth 125%. Because of the number of cruises I’m lucky enough to be able to take, that’s a nice investment!

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