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CDC Guidance for US cruises- 98% Crew, 95% Pax vaccinated. Are you OK with that?


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We've been waiting for months for clear CDC guidance. Well, we got it. Personally, I think it's great. It can turn cruise ships into the safest places on earth. Literally.

The guidance is not without its issues:

First, it might mean no children at all. There is no vaccine in the US approved for under 16, but that could change. This means Disney cruises are dead in the water, along with the the raison d'etre of a lot of the infrastructure on Royal ships.

Second, those who can't get vaccinated for real medical reasons may not be able to cruise. My impression is that's what the 5% pax slop percentage is for, but management of that 5% is going to be crazy. It might be easier for the cruise line to say 100% vaccinated or no go. Exceptions like this are tough to manage, especially in the first cruise out of dock.

Third, I have no idea what those people who have not been vaccinated will do. I have outlandish ideas of what might be attempted, but that's all they are at this point.

What are your thoughts on the guidance? I'm excited, vaccinated, and ready to go!

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I'm not sure it means Disney ships have to remain anchored offshore if they do sample cruises.  We still don't know what that looks like without seeing the revised CDC technical instructions.

The silence from all mass market cruise lines tells me it isn't simple.  If it were we would have heard firm dates from at least one of them.  

With each passing day it's beginning to look more and more like the CDC has pulled another one and duped us all.   If it goes another two weeks without any cruise line breaking silence we'll know for sure.

 

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10 minutes ago, twangster said:

The silence from all mass market cruise lines tells me it isn't simple.  If it were we would have heard firm dates from at least one of them.  

 

I have been noticing this too. Crickets.

Those numbers (98% / 95%) must be darn impossible to meet or they would have said something by now.

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If I'm a cruise boss, this is what I tell the CDC.

 

95% is way too high, especially just to avoid test cruises. You've told us 60-80% vaccinated is the national goal, so let's set that at 70% and we'll talk.

 

Also, if the majority are vaccinated, then let's scrap this concept of local shore agreements to handle a massive outbreak that'll never happen with all the protocols in place now.

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Announcements will happen when they happen and cruising will start when it starts. It seems like with all the news last week, a lot of pressure came off the CDC. I wonder if that's a good thing (I think that's a bad thing because I am too much of a pessimist). I'd love to see more news about the lawsuits and of the CDC being dragged through the mud. I just want our certainty back so we can YOLO book it when we want and know we are going to sail...unless there's a charter that pushes me out.

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I think we might not have heard anything yet because the cruise lines might be doing both approaches. Also this is a real-time situation: it was April 28th when the claim was made, its just the 5th of May. It has only been a week since talks have begun. They just started vaccinating the crews so I would expect more information to come out after Mother's day. They could be setting up for test cruises and seeing what ships might meet the metrics. Having 95% of pax vaccinated is not a hard goal. While the country may sit at 35%, the amount of vaccinated people who are ready and willing to cruise could be at 80-90%. Children aren't super-spreaders so they might be counted different and/or still be allowed to cruise.

Personally I think having 80-90% vaccinated cruises to start is a good idea and feasible. I want to give the CDC the benefit of doubt, let hope they aren't dangling a carrot that is impossible to reach just for giggles.

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8 minutes ago, Ampurp85 said:

While the country may sit at 35%,

 

That's 35% of the entire population who are fully vaccinated. Take those under 18 out and it's 41%. But 57% of those over 18 have gotten at least one dose.  So even if 10% opt out of dose 2, that's till over 50% of all adults who would be fully vaccinated before cruises start. I do agree that the amount of potential cruisers would be higher as I'm sure some non-trivial amount of people got vaccinated primarily to cruise.

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No children under the age of 18 should be required to have been vaccinated.  I do not want my children to have a vaccine whilst still in the trial period and its wrong of anybody to insist on this in order for them to enjoy a holiday. Especially when all the adults will be vaccinated (those that can).

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  Royal Caribbean says kids may be able to cruise under CDC's 95% vaccinated restart plan

Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President, Sales, Trade Support and Service, Vicki Freed, told travel agents in a webinar that the CDC's plan was purposefully left short of requiring 100% vaccinated passengers so that kids could sail.

"The reason for that is because children do not have to be vaccinated if they are under 18," Ms. Freed explained after getting asked why not require everyone to be vaccinated. "And so at this point, that is where the difference between the ninety five and one hundred percent."

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7 minutes ago, LovetoCruise87 said:

  Royal Caribbean says kids may be able to cruise under CDC's 95% vaccinated restart plan

Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President, Sales, Trade Support and Service, Vicki Freed, told travel agents in a webinar that the CDC's plan was purposefully left short of requiring 100% vaccinated passengers so that kids could sail.

"The reason for that is because children do not have to be vaccinated if they are under 18," Ms. Freed explained after getting asked why not require everyone to be vaccinated. "And so at this point, that is where the difference between the ninety five and one hundred percent."

But this goes on to mention that the vaccine will soon be approved for 12+, there is no mention of whether this will be compulsory to cruise.  Also what happens if more than 5% of passengers are under 18?

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11 minutes ago, icf75 said:

No children under the age of 18 should be required to have been vaccinated.  I do not want my children to have a vaccine whilst still in the trial period and its wrong of anybody to insist on this in order for them to enjoy a holiday. Especially when all the adults will be vaccinated (those that can).

That's your choice to make but why I think the CDC is going in this direction.  The CDC wants to create a situation where vaccinated people get to do more than unvaccinated.  They said as much.  They want to motivate parents to vaccinate their children.  That's not my position, but it is what the CDC is trying to do.

The CSO is basically unworkable so the CDC left that mess for any cruise line who doesn't want to require vaccines.  They aren't saying no to unvaccinated cruises, just it's super hard to the point the cruise lines would be daft to try.

The recent easy button they put on the table for cruise lines requires 95% to be vaccinated. 

easy GIF

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It does put cruise lines in a bad spot.  It forces the cruise lines into a position where they have to approach everyone, including guests who booked a cruise before this requirement was known and ask if everyone is vaccinated.  I'm sure the cruise lines don't want to be in that position, it's a terrible thing to have to do.

The silence we are hearing right now is probably from the cruise lines trying to figure out how to get this done.  What are the legal impacts?  What is the best way to create the messaging? What options should be available to cover all scenarios?  Offer L&S or FCC or refunds?  It's a government condition so how does that impact the cruise contract?  And so on...

All that needs to be determined before they can announce anything.

 

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I'd like to see 100% vaccination mandatory for adults At this point in the US you are choosing to get COVID if you choose not to take the vaccine and that's fine with me, just sit on the sidelines so we can all return to living. Have a 50 year old in the ICU today...if they ever wake up I bet they'll wish they got vaccinated. 

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My position on this is more to the 100% for both guests and crew. I realize that shuts out some including kids, but in due time they will be eligible for vaccinations as well. As for the folks that choose not to get vaccinated that’s certainly their right to choose but sometimes those choices come with consequences. You can’t have it both ways and put a struggling industry and other folks in jeopardy because you made a personal decision not be be vaccinated. Fair or not, jeeeze folks “fair” isn’t really a grown up word so stop trying to ruin cruising for everyone.  One case is all the CDC will need to put the brakes on again!

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11 minutes ago, smokeybandit said:

Remember it's not 95% or bust. It's 95% or still have to do a test cruise.

That was one reporter's statement.

I believe it is more like... 

Option 1 - Establish a 95% vaccination rule

Option 2 - The old CSO applies with test cruises except we'll review test cruises in 5 days ane ports can share health clinics.  All other CSO requirements stand as is.  

The CDC is giving them an easy road to take IF they agree to sail with a 95% vaccinated requirement.  Otherwise the CSO stands nearly as is.  

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10 minutes ago, BarbieBell said:

My position on this is more to the 100% for both guests and crew. I realize that shuts out some including kids, but in due time they will be eligible for vaccinations as well. As for the folks that choose not to get vaccinated that’s certainly their right to choose but sometimes those choices come with consequences. You can’t have it both ways and put a struggling industry and other folks in jeopardy because you made a personal decision not be be vaccinated. Fair or not, jeeeze folks “fair” isn’t really a grown up word so stop trying to ruin cruising for everyone.  One case is all the CDC will need to put the brakes on again!

Im not sure vaccine apartheid is a good look! And fwiw I am vaccinated. I can only hope for those that choose not to be vaccinated for any reason get to enjoy the same freedoms as those who are.  Whilst not on the same scale, the flu vaccine was never a requirement and does kill people, we need to live with this just like flu! Its a case of people fully understanding the risks, which will be minimal (as it is now for the majority of people-99%survival rate, avg age of death 82 in UK)

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29 minutes ago, BarbieBell said:

My position on this is more to the 100% for both guests and crew. I realize that shuts out some including kids, but in due time they will be eligible for vaccinations as well. As for the folks that choose not to get vaccinated that’s certainly their right to choose but sometimes those choices come with consequences. You can’t have it both ways and put a struggling industry and other folks in jeopardy because you made a personal decision not be be vaccinated. Fair or not, jeeeze folks “fair” isn’t really a grown up word so stop trying to ruin cruising for everyone.  One case is all the CDC will need to put the brakes on again!

But kids haven't made the personal choice not to get vaccinated because no vaccine is available to them.

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https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2021/05/05/cdc-announces-new-instructions-cruise-lines-be-able-restart-cruises-united-states

 

Every single ship needs a test cruise? 

 

@Matt your article says everyone needs to be vaccinated. According to this, that's not true.

 

https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/cruise/ti-simulated-voyages-cso.html

 

The cruise ship operator must ensure all volunteer passengers have either:

  • Proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 using an S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-authorized vaccine or a vaccine product that has received emergency use listing from the World Health Organization (WHO); or
  • If not fully vaccinated, written documentation from a healthcare provider or self-certified statement that the volunteer passenger has no medical conditions that would place the volunteer at high risk for severe COVID-19 as determined through CDC guidance.
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