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


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We are both in our early 50's and have had our first jab of Astra, so obviously happy with being vaccinated, if that what it takes to get onto a cruise ship we are all for it. We decided to get it so we can escape fortress Austraslia. Two cases yesterday and restriction back in force, yes just two cases; stop laughing at us, LOL 

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Its very easy to criticize scientists when you have no idea what they di day to day  Without scientists there wouldn't be vaccines in the first place.

As for the CDC, remember there was a recent change in US government, and the previous administration stifled their ability to regulate many industries properly. We dont know how much of the higher ups in the CDC are new. or leftover from the previous administration, which appear to have drastically different priorities. 

Im not saying one administration is better or worse, just that the adjustment to a new administration is probably not yet complete.

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I sure hope your armor is in place, knowing what arrows will be coming your way very soon.  I find solace knowing that at least, in a few cases, the scales are being lifted from some peoples’ eyes.

Not to worry though.  I’m sure this thread will be locked down soon enough or your post erased permanently.  Thanks for having the courage to post it though.  Good luck.

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At some point soon hopefully a politician in the right place will desire to declare "we won" or "mission accomplished".  Once this occurs the public health emergency will be over and the CDC will be put back in the bottle, their magic powers once again constrained.  

Until that occurs it does not seem likely that cruising will return to anything close to the normal we used to know.  

The 98/95 vaccination approach seems to be nothing more than a means to bypass the test cruise.  This may not be a bad thing because I think it unlikely any ship could ever make it through an actual test cruise and come out with a certificate to sail under the CSO.  The CDC will always find something wrong during a test cruise and after 3 or 4 failed test cruise attempts the cruise lines will have to relent and submit a plan to require vaccinations.

Essentially the CDC will use test cruises to kick the can down the road another few months.

By the time the cruise lines have tried and failed to make it through the test cruise gauntlet the emergency use authorization for the trial vaccines will likely allow individuals 2+ to vaccinate.

Once we reach that point the issue facing the cruise lines will become how to handle guests who do not meet the CDC imposed 98/95 rule.  At the moment the Cruise with Confidence program would seem to be the answer even if that isn't the path that some will desire. 

It seems an extension of the CWC qualification period would be appropriate since it currently will not be available for cruises booked after May 31, 2021.

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9 hours ago, alamode123 said:

Its very easy to criticize scientists when you have no idea what they di day to day  Without scientists there wouldn't be vaccines in the first place.

As for the CDC, remember there was a recent change in US government, and the previous administration stifled their ability to regulate many industries properly. We dont know how much of the higher ups in the CDC are new. or leftover from the previous administration, which appear to have drastically different priorities. 

Im not saying one administration is better or worse, just that the adjustment to a new administration is probably not yet complete.

Why on earth should the CDC be regulating anything, cruising or otherwise?

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23 minutes ago, twangster said:

At some point soon hopefully a politician in the right place will desire to declare "we won" or "mission accomplished".  Once this occurs the public health emergency will be over and the CDC will be put back in the bottle, their magic powers once again constrained.  

Silly me thought (hoped) that would be after Biden's 100 days. Might still be after July 4, but I'm not hopeful considering the CDC put out an analysis that already hedged falling cases at that date (high vaccine uptake AND adherence to non-pharmaceutical interventions will be to thank, in case you guys didn't already know or dared to think otherwise). That's a recipe for keeping things as they are now.

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Another interesting development is the Pfizer submission for full FDA approval for the 16+ age group.   

Personal thoughts aside,  if the FDA does fully approve the vaccine it does impact the discussion for cruise lines requiring vaccines.

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9 minutes ago, LizzyBee23 said:

Silly me thought (hoped) that would be after Biden's 100 days. Might still be after July 4, but I'm not hopeful considering the CDC put out an analysis that already hedged falling cases at that date (high vaccine uptake AND adherence to non-pharmaceutical interventions will be to thank, in case you guys didn't already know or dared to think otherwise). That's a recipe for keeping things as they are now.

The CDC will forever take a position to keep the public health emergency going.

At some point politicians will want to be declare themselves the victor and get out from under the weight of the public health emergency.  "Now that we beat the virus under my leadership it's time to rebuild America".  That doesn't work if the CDC is still beating their drum so they'll be told...

Joe Biden Reaction GIF by Election 2020

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On 5/6/2021 at 1:43 PM, 12thman said:

Since NCL needs 90 days to be ready to sail from U.S. ports and assuming Royal is in the same position will Royal be ready for November sailings? Since Phase 4 hasn't been released how can the CDC say you can sail under these terms? Will they change the requirements at phase 4? 

They're making it up as they go along.   Just keep moving the goal posts.

 

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On 5/5/2021 at 4:18 PM, smokeybandit said:

Pretty awful, unless the 95% route allows them to not have to follow these rules.

 

https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/cruise/covid19-operations-manual-cso.html

Uh...this is completely ridiculous. There isn't a chance I or any of my fellow passengers/friends will EVER go on a cruise where you have to wear your mask sitting outside, by the pool, in a lounge chair, with the sun beating down on us if we don't have a drink in our hand. This is insane and I hope it is all cleared up by December!

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Well, all quiet on the CDC front, or so it would seem. I've not seen anything in the last 72h that suggests the needle has moved. It's stuck at high noon probably waiting for the Middle Court of FL, Judge Steven D. Merryday presiding, to hear FL's request for an injunction against the CDC's CSO. 

There's no telling what moves the attorneys for the plaintiffs, Intervenors (Texas & Alaska) and the defendant's attorneys (Bacerra and Walenski) will make. There will probably be motions of a technical basis put forward by the defendants but that they haven't already done so may signal they are ready to defend their authority to enforce the CSO.

Here's a recap:

The complaint was filed by the state of FL with the Federal Court having jurisdiction on April 8th

Since then, there have been 35 separate filings. Things like summons, motions, addition of plaintiffs and such. Mostly technical things. The last on Friday, May 7th. There could be more before the Judge hears arguments next Wednesday. Some could be show stoppers that impose delays. There are different sets of rules for this sort of legal maneuvering when the plaintiff is granted an expedited  hearing.

The claim is filed under the category of Other Statutes: Administrative Procedures Act/Review or Appeal of Agency Decision. This is important because the claim is less about the CDC's authority to regulate maritime shipping operations to protect the public health and more about the administrative procedures that the CDC should have followed and did not in implementing them and the unprecedented length of time the NSO/CSO have been enforced.

The thrust of the claim involves the billions of dollars in economic losses suffered by the state of FL and businesses operating there in support of cruise ship operations. As part of the complaint, a through study of the costs to each FL port was undertaken, published and attached to the claim. The account is staggering.

The claim then shifts to accountability for those losses (HHS/CDC) and that administrative procedures outlined in pertinent U.S.C. that were not followed when the NSO and CSO were issued.  There are notifications that have to be made when the CDC wishes to act to carry out it's responsibilities to protect the public health from potential threats (disease) carried by maritime shipping (cruise ships) before actions are taken to give the ships/ports time to correct problems and make things safe.  The claim is that cruise lines or port authorities were not notified before issuing the NSO or the CSO.

Moreover, the extent of the CDC's authority to act under U.S.C. 42 is usually limited to single events and short time frames until the threat is resolved. The sweeping nature that has shut down an entire industry, in a discriminatory way, for over a year, far, far exceeds the intent of granting the CDC powers to protect the public health in the narrow setting of maritime shipping operations; it is further argued that only Congress has this level of authority granted to it in the Constitution. 

I know there are doubters here that the complaint will be resolved in FL's and by extension, the cruise industry's favor. The law is tricky and rarely straight forward to lay people like us. Unexpected things happen at hearings like this and that could very well be the case. But FL's complaint is strong and if it survives legal maneuvering on the part of the defendant's attorney's I think FL will get what it wants - an injunction against the CSO.

A poster in this thread, I believe, wondered if the contents of the CSO won't end up in U.S.C 42, Maritime regulations. It might but not over-night. US Code rests on Congressional legislation. If the CSO is enjoined, that means a Judge has said current law doesn't allow it. Modifying the law is hard and time consuming. 

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It seems like RC and other cruise lines will have to expansion their "foreign" cruise concept in the short term. Hopefully they can expand their operations in the short term and offer reasonable travel to the embarkation ports in places like Bahamas,  St Martin,  Barbados,  Mexico, and others.

The CDC is being obstinate and the only solution is to work around them and show the Washington politicians that people safety make their own decisions about their own health.

The truth is that at this point,  we don't need them anymore.

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