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The more I look at it, the more ridiculous the CDC ban is.

Consider allowing each of the big three cruise lines to sail with two ships right now at 50% capacity.  Use 3,000 per ship as a high number (not all ships are Oasis class).  That is 18,000 guests per week.  Double it to account for secondary brands also sailing with two ships.  That's 36,000 guests per week.

The US population is ~328M.

Those 36k guests equal 0.01% of the US population.  

The CDC is banning a restart that involves 0.01% of the population.  

If allowed to sail and using CDC protocols those 36,000 guests each week would require a PCR test to reach the port and an antigen test to board the ship.  On board they would be subject to protocols established by the CDC as best practices.  Daily temperature check.  More antigen testing.  Masks.  Distancing.  VACCINES!  To debark the ship they need an antigen test.  All of the things that aren't taking place on land in communities around America.

Instead the CDC has decided that it is much better to prevent 36,000 Americans from using CDC best practice protocols each week.

Instead the CDC wants Americans running loose in their home states were the CDC has no jurisdiction and can't control what state or local governments set as requirements.  Many states are opening up.  Many states are letting protocols go.  Yet the CDC thinks this is better for Americans over the CDC's own best practice protocols.

The CDC doesn't want people using their own protocols.

The CDC doesn't want people to be tested.

Given the options facing the CDC, the CDC chooses an option to ban cruise ships and prevent Americans from being tested frequently and using CDC best practice protocols.

How many Americans are we talking about?  Just 0.01% of the population.

All of this for just 0.01% of the population.

Somehow the CDC has determined that stopping 0.01% of the American population from using CDC best practices on a weekly basis will somehow save America.  

The logic and reasoning being used by the CDC defies science and data.  

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56 minutes ago, twangster said:

The more I look at it, the more ridiculous the CDC ban is.

Consider allowing each of the big three cruise lines to sail with two ships right now at 50% capacity.  Use 3,000 per ship as a high number (not all ships are Oasis class).  That is 18,000 guests per week.  Double it to account for secondary brands also sailing with two ships.  That's 36,000 guests per week.

The US population is ~328M.

Those 36k guests equal 0.01% of the US population.  

The CDC is banning a restart that involves 0.01% of the population.  

If allowed to sail and using CDC protocols those 36,000 guests each week would require a PCR test to reach the port and an antigen test to board the ship.  On board they would be subject to protocols established by the CDC as best practices.  Daily temperature check.  More antigen testing.  Masks.  Distancing.  VACCINES!  To debark the ship they need an antigen test.  All of the things that aren't taking place on land in communities around America.

Instead the CDC has decided that it is much better to prevent 36,000 Americans from using CDC best practice protocols each week.

Instead the CDC wants Americans running loose in their home states were the CDC has no jurisdiction and can't control what state or local governments set as requirements.  Many states are opening up.  Many states are letting protocols go.  Yet the CDC thinks this is better for Americans over the CDC's own best practice protocols.

The CDC doesn't want people using their own protocols.

The CDC doesn't want people to be tested.

Given the options facing the CDC, the CDC chooses an option to ban cruise ships and prevent Americans from being tested frequently and using CDC best practice protocols.

How many Americans are we talking about?  Just 0.01% of the population.

All of this for just 0.01% of the population.

Somehow the CDC has determined that stopping 0.01% of the American population from using CDC best practices on a weekly basis will somehow save America.  

The logic and reasoning being used by the CDC defies science and data.  

The logic and reasoning used by the entire country defies science and data for an illness that has taken .1% of the population, the vast majority of which were in bad health anyway.  Wash you hands, don't touch you face, and when the shot is available, get it.  Let us live our lives.

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My wife had dinner with a friend this week.  She and her family are so petrified that she has been off her property exactly twice in the last 12 months (both times to have dinner with my wife).  Both parents are working from home.  Their 7 year old is being home schooled.  All groceries are delivered.  The husband has left home a few times when it was absolutely necessary.  Upon return he removes is clothing in the garage, the clothing is put into a trash bag for two weeks before it comes into the house to be laundered, and he sprays down with disinfectant before coming into the house.  Of course all deliveries are handled appropriately too.

What country is this?

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3 hours ago, RCVoyager said:

Sorry, wash YOUR hands and don't touch YOUR face.  I got to typing too fast.

I thought you were going all Bronx on us for a moment there. ?

As for your friends, that's simply the way they're dealing with it that helps them cope.  Some people are serious germaphobes and it's a way of coping that allows them to feel as if they have better control of a situation that gives them great anxiety.  I am very close to one myself, and his routines have nothing to do with "this country".  Just continue to be kind.  

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2 hours ago, SpeedNoodles said:

I thought you were going all Bronx on us for a moment there. ?

As for your friends, that's simply the way they're dealing with it that helps them cope.  Some people are serious germaphobes and it's a way of coping that allows them to feel as if they have better control of a situation that gives them great anxiety.  I am very close to one myself, and his routines have nothing to do with "this country".  Just continue to be kind.  

I appreciate and agree with your sentiment.  It is a compliment to my wife that the two times she's chosen to leave home in 12 months was to have dinner with her.

I think the "what country is this" portion of my comment was probably related to my own frustration with the situation.

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8 hours ago, RCVoyager said:

My wife had dinner with a friend this week.  She and her family are so petrified that she has been off her property exactly twice in the last 12 months (both times to have dinner with my wife).  Both parents are working from home.  Their 7 year old is being home schooled.  All groceries are delivered.  The husband has left home a few times when it was absolutely necessary.  Upon return he removes is clothing in the garage, the clothing is put into a trash bag for two weeks before it comes into the house to be laundered, and he sprays down with disinfectant before coming into the house.  Of course all deliveries are handled appropriately too.

What country is this?

We still see people grocery shopping wearing what they probably think are great hazmat suits. 

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Good to see politicians trying to move the needle, but thus far it is clear the CDC does not really care about what any politician says (except perhaps the President, as evidenced last fall with that alleged tug of war with extending the no sail order).

The fact technical instructions haven't been delivered and it is now March (from when they were supposed to be given in October) is absolutely ridiculous. Talk about not being an honest broker.

The fear that the Conditional Sail Order is the No Sail Order with a different name is accurate, and it is absolutely absurd this has gone on this long.

I'm not saying cruises should  have been able to restart 6 months ago. Just that clearly the cruise lines have demonstrated a lot of self restraint, and they know more than anyone, the importance of operating safely given their very public and media-unfriendly coverage.

If the CDC is willing to say vaccinated people can all hang out and be merry together, explain to me why, at VERY least, those same people can't be hanging out, on a ship, with these multiple layers of precautions that have already been defined.  It really defies logic at this point.

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12 hours ago, twangster said:

The more I look at it, the more ridiculous the CDC ban is.

Consider allowing each of the big three cruise lines to sail with two ships right now at 50% capacity.  Use 3,000 per ship as a high number (not all ships are Oasis class).  That is 18,000 guests per week.  Double it to account for secondary brands also sailing with two ships.  That's 36,000 guests per week.

The US population is ~328M.

Those 36k guests equal 0.01% of the US population.  

The CDC is banning a restart that involves 0.01% of the population.  

If allowed to sail and using CDC protocols those 36,000 guests each week would require a PCR test to reach the port and an antigen test to board the ship.  On board they would be subject to protocols established by the CDC as best practices.  Daily temperature check.  More antigen testing.  Masks.  Distancing.  VACCINES!  To debark the ship they need an antigen test.  All of the things that aren't taking place on land in communities around America.

Instead the CDC has decided that it is much better to prevent 36,000 Americans from using CDC best practice protocols each week.

Instead the CDC wants Americans running loose in their home states were the CDC has no jurisdiction and can't control what state or local governments set as requirements.  Many states are opening up.  Many states are letting protocols go.  Yet the CDC thinks this is better for Americans over the CDC's own best practice protocols.

The CDC doesn't want people using their own protocols.

The CDC doesn't want people to be tested.

Given the options facing the CDC, the CDC chooses an option to ban cruise ships and prevent Americans from being tested frequently and using CDC best practice protocols.

How many Americans are we talking about?  Just 0.01% of the population.

All of this for just 0.01% of the population.

Somehow the CDC has determined that stopping 0.01% of the American population from using CDC best practices on a weekly basis will somehow save America.  

The logic and reasoning being used by the CDC defies science and data.  

The CDC has probably done a good job of trying to understand the science and guess at what we should be doing (I'm being charitable) ..

What they have done a god awful job of is then trying to explain it to the general public in a why that gets the public on board with doing the "right" thing ... at this point they are rapidly reaching the point of being ignored and over ridden (I'm right there with you on your opinion).

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19 hours ago, RCVoyager said:

My wife had dinner with a friend this week.  She and her family are so petrified that she has been off her property exactly twice in the last 12 months (both times to have dinner with my wife).  Both parents are working from home.  Their 7 year old is being home schooled.  All groceries are delivered.  The husband has left home a few times when it was absolutely necessary.  Upon return he removes is clothing in the garage, the clothing is put into a trash bag for two weeks before it comes into the house to be laundered, and he sprays down with disinfectant before coming into the house.  Of course all deliveries are handled appropriately too.

What country is this?

not the kind of thing that is happening in the Midwest.  Maybe someone rare but the vast majority of people are going about there business and just masking up.  All out stores set up 20-30 parking paces for pick-up but I hardly ever see anyone in them when either driving by or when going to shop.

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On 3/19/2021 at 7:33 PM, steverk said:

The cdc has never felt this much power in its existence. I hope they come to their senses, but I think it has gone to their heads. ?

The fact they are the primary controlling agency over US passenger cruise industry is nuts!  They have a stake, but long term primary responsibility needs to be removed from this agency.

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It's complicated. Twangster has nailed the details down, I'll try to recall them. The US Government has declared a public health emergency. That grants US government agencies varying degrees of lawful authority to do certain things. The CDC issued a no-sail-order for certain ships (including those of the cruise lines operating ships with > 250 passengers) from US ports based on the emergency declaration.

Certain Maritime laws are being invoked and the US Treasury Department which contains the US Coast Guard would be charged with enforcement of those laws. Various documents, enumerated in the Maritime laws that must be approved by port authorities are required for a cruise ship to enter or leave a US port. Port authorities would deny approval of the required documents. 

I've offered that the cruise lines should collectively sue in an appropriate court seeking an injunction preventing enforcement of the no-sail-order. I looked briefly at the law that might apply after a trade group for the travel industry threated to do just that in October. I'm not a lawyer but it doesn't take one to see that a jurisdictional issue exists and that the government lawyers that crafted the no-sail-order did a surprisingly good job of making it very hard for the cruise industry to ignore the order or sue. 

Twangster, jump in here if I've erred.

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My confusion is that it seems that in every other aspect (air travel and all inclusives etc) they’ve issued ‘advisories’  which don’t seem to be being enforced but they have full power over the cruise industry. I’m just wondering how the one side is simply advisories and the other side is full control.

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Well, a lot us here among many others are asking the same question. It is, IMO, clearly discriminatory.

Think back to March of 2020 when the pandemic was making itself known and governments were scrambling to "do something." The visuals of the Diamond Princess fiasco and the problems with cruise ships at sea being denied access to ports world wide were ugly. A convenient move by the US government to stop foreign flagged cruise lines from binging pestilence and death to US shores made it appear like the CDC was doing it's job to protect the US public health. IOW, there was a political calculation to the order. Made the US and the CDC, before the pandemic crisis, viewed as the world's leader in disease prevention and control, look good. 

If my memory serves me, President Trump, at the time of the CDC issued no-sail-order, did not want to shutter US airports. Those remained open and the airline industry added new safety protocols. The US government left other mitigation measures up to the states. That resulted in the crazy patch-work of mitigation measures you see today from state to state and even county to county.  

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If you look at the CDC Director's session in front of a senate committee on March 18 it seems even the CDC is confused.

They are now claiming it's not the CDC that is holding up a restart.  It's some other agency or agencies.

https://www.cruisehive.com/worrying-answers-from-cdc-director-on-conditional-sailing-order/48435

  • “This is an inter-agency decision, it is not a decision solely up to the CDC so I would be remiss if I would do that by myself because the decision is not solely up to us.”

When pressed:

  • "I believe the department of transportation and there are numerous others making these decisions”

Any parent who has come into a room to find a broken vase or lamp on the floor has faced this at some point.

"Who broke the lamp?"

Im Not GIF

 

The CDC created the CSO banning cruise ships from sailing but now they are powerless to revoke or change it.  It's up to some other agency.  Hmmm.

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37 minutes ago, twangster said:

If you look at the CDC Director's session in front of a senate committee on March 18 it seems even the CDC is confused.

They are now claiming it's not the CDC that is holding up a restart.  It's some other agency or agencies.

https://www.cruisehive.com/worrying-answers-from-cdc-director-on-conditional-sailing-order/48435

  • “This is an inter-agency decision, it is not a decision solely up to the CDC so I would be remiss if I would do that by myself because the decision is not solely up to us.”

When pressed:

  • "I believe the department of transportation and there are numerous others making these decisions”

Any parent who has come into a room to find a broken vase or lamp on the floor has faced this at some point.

"Who broke the lamp?"

Im Not GIF

 

The CDC created the CSO banning cruise ships from sailing but now they are powerless to revoke or change it.  It's up to some other agency.  Hmmm.

Great link! Typical bureaucratic buffoonery - "no one in-charge".  Who grants the operational certificates?  Petition the signatory/  Seems like port cities/states and cruise lines could have standing to bring a suite against DOT or "whoever".   After all - hotels, resorts, and airlines are all operating under Covid conditions, so there is a level of discrimination against a specific travel industry player.    Cruise ships are just floating hotels.   Would argue DOT (cabinet level) is the right level of organization to make an executive decision for sign-off.  Its all about accepting risk mitigation strategies.  Are  hotels requiring tests or vaccination in order to accept guests?  International airfare requires tests - OK, cruise lines are starting with tests and vaccinations.  Can't beat that.

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I do federal-level government risk acceptance (or, more often NON-acceptance) for a living and I know OH TOO WELL the "not my responsibility" mentality.  The government is all-too-quick to implement all manner of regulations and controls and then once the controls and mitigations are verified and validated, nobody will touch the "residual" risk (an outdated term that we no longer use...but still descriptive enough for our purposes) that remains. There is no such thing as a "safe" operation or process.  There will always be some level of risk remaining, even after everything that can be done, has been done.  Everyone wants to be in charge when the risk is low or when it's time to bring the hammer down somewhere, but when it's time to accept responsibility, the remaining risk is an orphan.  This hot potato will be thrown around for a while until someone is left without a chair (yes, I realize that's a mixed metaphor).

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55 minutes ago, CruisinForABruisin said:

Miami: "Can we have cruises back?"

CDC:  Gestures wildly at all the stuff that took place during spring break the last few days.

Miami: "We were hoping you missed that."

It's worth noting that rowdy, hard partying college kids vs. calmly gathered families/couples following cruise line mandated protocols are hardly comparable.

Not that that would keep the CDC and/or the ever vocal "I'd never go on a cruise" crowd from playing a game of "I told you so".

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Excellent points Twangster! Also, think about how many people FLY in the U.S. per week. They don't need to follow CDC guidance. They aren't being tested prior to boarding. So why is cruising, which is a fairly closed system, being prevented from operating, yet airlines, subways, trains, etc which take people all over the country, being allowed to operate? I get one is for commerce, and the other for recreation, but even Disney is open so the argument is very flimsy in my opinion.

 

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47 minutes ago, SPS said:

It's worth noting that rowdy, hard partying college kids vs. calmly gathered families/couples following cruise line mandated protocols are hardly comparable.

 

With 3 of the 4 major cruiselines giving away their drink packages with bookings, you may be surprised at who is going to be sailing nowadays.

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I have always been on this board defending the CDC during the pandemic saying they have a responsibility to protect people and let the virus go crazy. I have also been of the opinion that airline travel is completely different the cruise travel and cannot be compared because cruising is a recreational only activity while the country airline industry is vital to our overall economy and survival.

But there is no reason why the CDC should not open things up now. With the vaccine available, millions of Americans are being vaccinated now. I never would have compared COVID to the flu at the beginning of this, but that’s basically what this virus will become probably in a year. Look at the Spanish Flu of 1918 to compare. People will decide to take the shot or not just like the flu vaccine every year. And COVID will probably have to be a yearly shot with different strains. 

Europe still bears watching because they haven’t been able to vaccinate as many people which is why you are seeing places like Italy has to shut down again.

But Cruise Lines should require vaccination for the first year or two. Just my opinion.

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You would think the CDC would factor in human nature and how Americans will act.

They seem to be of the opinion that by denying cruises Americans will shelter in place and never leave their homes.

In reality Americans are going to leave their homes and vacation recreationally somewhere.  The CDC isn't protecting anyone by banning cruise ships, they are pushing Americans to choose less safe options domestically.  Once the CDC wakes up to the reality of their actions they will realize that cruising with protocols is a much safer way to recreate given many of the other options they are pushing Americans into where there will be no protocols required.

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23 minutes ago, Oliver said:

while the country airline industry is vital to our overall economy and survival.

Yet business air travel is minimal right now.  The airlines execs have stated so.  The majority of air travel is recreational at the moment.  That has been the justification for billions in bailout money.

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21 minutes ago, twangster said:

 

Yet business air travel is minimal right now.  The airlines execs have stated so.  The majority of air travel is recreational at the moment.  That has been the justification for billions in bailout money.

Yes, yes and yes.  I work in corporate America and my company, like almost every other company in America has gone to zero travel.  All meetings are done via conferencing (Teams, Skype, Zoom, etc.). No one travels anymore for business. Every conference is now virtual.

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49 minutes ago, twangster said:

Once the CDC wakes up to the reality of their actions they will realize that cruising with protocols is a much safer way to recreate given many of the other options they are pushing Americans into where there will be no protocols required.

That should read ... IF the CDC wakes up ....

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58 minutes ago, twangster said:

You would think the CDC would factor in human nature and how Americans will act.

They seem to be of the opinion that by denying cruises Americans will shelter in place and never leave their homes.

In reality Americans are going to leave their homes and vacation recreationally somewhere.  The CDC isn't protecting anyone by banning cruise ships, they are pushing Americans to choose less safe options domestically.  Once the CDC wakes up to the reality of their actions they will realize that cruising with protocols is a much safer way to recreate given many of the other options they are pushing Americans into where there will be no protocols required.

Well said!  I hope the CDC wakes up to this, but I'm less than confident they will.  According to a video clip I saw on the La Lido Loca Youtube channel, the CDC director doesn't even know who is keeping the CSO in place!

I have trouble seeing them lifting the CSO if they don't even understand that they are the ones who issued it and own it!

Perhaps Royal sailing out of other ports will cause them to come to their senses.  Or perhaps they'll be miffed that someone is working around them and try to shut down travel in and out of the embarkation ports.

Here's hoping for them to come to their senses!

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I have flown for business 4 times for business since the pandemic has started. My flight last week was from the US east coast to Oklahoma. Every flight I have taken has been full with a mixture of business people and recreation travelers. Yes, people are masked but passengers are sitting inches away from another. Drink and snacks are served when ppl can take off masks. And it’s very questionable, what level of protection masks provide 

I haven’t heard of airlines being a source of infection. 
 
when I see packed planes, airports, and airport trams packed with people, I seriously question the CDC not allowing cruising to take place. Even more so after listening to RCL CEO with the numbers of cruisers during the pandemic and cases of Covid. I would have to watch again but it was well under 100 cases  of Covid with 100,000 passengers

i know cruising isn’t a priority for the CDC but I think they fail to see the economic impact abs job loss in cities with cruise ports and the surrounding hospitality industry that benefits from bringing cruising back in the US

I hope with the vaccine that pressure will start to mount on the CDC to restart cruising by June/July 

 

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57 minutes ago, emmef said:

All meetings are done via conferencing (Teams, Skype, Zoom, etc.). No one travels anymore for business. Every conference is now virtual.

I completely agree that the fact that Corporate America is not traveling for business as much as in the past is having an impact on the domestic airline industry,  but I think the fact that the US Government is not flying for routine business is having an even BIGGER impact.  Dan and I both used to travel at least a couple of times a month for one reason or another and neither of us have gone on a [government-related] business trip for over a year.  That's a HUGE change.  Don't get me wrong....I think it's a good thing.  IMO most government travel is completely arbitrary and I think it's a good thing that they've cut most of it out.  Some things cannot be done virtually (safety evaluations, for instance) but most meetings have, in the past, been nothing more than boondoggles to give government employees AND contractors an excuse to travel on the government $$.

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