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Alaska sailing without Canada stop


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https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2021/05/13/bill-allow-cruise-ships-sail-alaska-without-stopping-canada-passes-us-senate

Should this bill pass in the house AND then extended into the summer 2022 cruise season, I wonder how this would impact Radiance sailings, namely the open-jaw nature of her sailings involving Vancouver.

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Bonus for looking past the PVSA and addressing immigration issues related to foreign crew visas.  

To restrict the imposition by the Secretary of Homeland Security of 
   fines, penalties, duties, or tariffs applicable only to coastwise 
  voyages, or prohibit otherwise qualified non-United States citizens 
  from serving as crew, on specified vessels transporting passengers 
 between the State of Washington and the State of Alaska, to address a 
Canadian cruise ship ban and the extraordinary impacts of the COVID-19 
        pandemic on Alaskan communities, and for other purposes.
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22 minutes ago, Baked Alaska said:

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2021/05/13/bill-allow-cruise-ships-sail-alaska-without-stopping-canada-passes-us-senate

Should this bill pass in the house AND then extended into the summer 2022 cruise season, I wonder how this would impact Radiance sailings, namely the open-jaw nature of her sailing involving Vancouver.

One, I believe this is only until the ban is lifted in February 2022. Second, if the ban remains, I would imagine the cruise would terminate/begin in Seattle instead. 
 

I’m on Radiance next May. 

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14 minutes ago, Baked Alaska said:

I wonder how this will impact Radiance, namely the open-jaw nature of her sailing involving Vancouver.

The act specifically states voyages between Washington State and Alaska so the act itself doesn't change anything for one-way North/South cruises.

Royal can at its discretion cancel any Canadian voyages and look to redeploy the ship from Seattle but it may run into scheduling challenges due to the limited number of berths in Seattle.  That may also require changing the ports of call to make it work. 

Other cruise lines are also scrambling to consider this so it's a bit of a game of musical chairs.  A new Seattle deployment might have to involve changing to a mid-week departure for example.  

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35 minutes ago, cruisellama said:

If this happens, and cruises start, will Canada be anyway influenced to get back in the game?

Canada is still struggling with the virus.  Some stores remain shut in areas.  Rolling lockdowns.

Second dose 4 months after first dose due to vaccine shortages and rationing.  This week they stopped offering the AstraZeneca vaccine contributing to the slow vaccine rollout.

IIRC it will be September before the general population will have a decent opportunity to be fully vaxxed.  For now they are aiming for a "one dose summer".

I think Canada will sit this one out and wait until 2022.

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39 minutes ago, twangster said:

The act specifically states voyages between Washington State and Alaska so the act itself doesn't change anything for one-way North/South cruises.

Royal can at its discretion cancel any Canadian voyages and look to redeploy the ship from Seattle but it may run into scheduling challenges due to the limited number of berths in Seattle.  That may also require changing the ports of call to make it work. 

Other cruise lines are also scrambling to consider this so it's a bit of a game of musical chairs.  A new Seattle deployment might have to involve changing to a mid-week departure for example.  

I was reading on another thread, escapes me which one, about folks already scheduling their flights for next summer. If this is the case above, I would think my July 22, 2022 Radiance sailing will be canceled. I'm an über planner, so this is killing me!

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8 minutes ago, Baked Alaska said:

I was reading on another thread, escapes me which one, about folks already scheduling their flights for next summer. If this is the case above, I would think my July 22, 2022 Radiance sailing will be canceled. I'm an über planner, so this is killing me!

July 2022 should be fine.  

Canada's cruise ship ban runs until February 2022.  

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1 hour ago, twangster said:

The act specifically states voyages between Washington State and Alaska so the act itself doesn't change anything for one-way North/South cruises.

Royal can at its discretion cancel any Canadian voyages and look to redeploy the ship from Seattle but it may run into scheduling challenges due to the limited number of berths in Seattle.  That may also require changing the ports of call to make it work. 

Other cruise lines are also scrambling to consider this so it's a bit of a game of musical chairs.  A new Seattle deployment might have to involve changing to a mid-week departure for example.  

I love the ports of call on these sailings. I hope they would not change those. The order wouldn't be a big deal to me, but losing them would be a game changer.  

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Please educate me, I have no experience with even researching Alaska cruises. Why is this legislation needed? I understand Canada has halted cruises due to the virus, but why is legislation necessary to allow cruising from one US state to another?

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20 minutes ago, Elnoz said:

Please educate me, I have no experience with even researching Alaska cruises. Why is this legislation needed? I understand Canada has halted cruises due to the virus, but why is legislation necessary to allow cruising from one US state to another?

Check out Matt's blog on this:

Royal Caribbean Group CEO on 2021 Alaska cruises: "reason for some hope" | Royal Caribbean Blog

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10 minutes ago, emmef said:

Thank you. This helps a little and now I know what to do further research on to better understand the current laws that need to be revamped in light of our crazy times!

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55 minutes ago, Heymarco said:

I think the bill should have just made the exclusion permanent. The goal of the PVSA was to help US firms and workers. For Alaskan cruises, it only benefits Canada.

That's not entirely true.  There are a number of small cruise lines and shipping companies that are American with American workers with service on some of the same routes.

The PVSA impacts nearly every commercial passenger vessel in America from water taxis in Boston to duckboats in Missouri to ferries servicing Staten Island to river boats on the Mississippi or in Washington State.

The cruising public is oblivious to the extent that the PVSA touches Americans from coast to coast.  The contribution of the PVSA fleet far exceeds the impact of foreign cruise lines.

US flagged ship are subject to regulations and inspections that far exceed what foreign ships are subject to.  That greatly improves safety across all commercial passenger vessels that are subject to these regulations.

Beyond the PVSA is the foreign worker component.  Once a ship operates from US ports with no international stops they are subject to US labor laws.  Crew have to pay US state and federal taxes like the rest of us.  Ships have to follow US labor practices.  None of that applies to foreign passenger ships that operate under the PVSA.

I've not even touched upon a fraction of the issues.  Once you start digging into the details you quickly get into international maritime treaties and complexities that are valid and in place for very good reasons.

"I'm not allowed to take a cruise I want, therefore it should change" is such a misinformed position.

It is after all the Passenger Vessel Services Act, not the "Cruise Ship Act".  

There is a reason why any attempt to bring the PVSA up before Congress never makes it out of committee.  No one on either side of the aisle is willing to touch it once they are informed on the far reaching impacts beyond taking a cruise.

Even cruise lines have no desire to modify the PVSA.  No CLIA member cruise line has signalled any desire to change it because they know that would be a disaster to their very successful business model.  

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Re the PVSA .... this is not an area of the law or U.S.C. that I am familiar with. Appreciate your insight @twangster.

Readers and posters here are generally pretty well informed but it goes without saying that the complexity of the rules and regulations affecting the cruise industry as we know and enjoy it make it difficult for well informed positions to emerge among the vast number of folks, both who frequent this blog and who don't, that have or plan to cruise.

The one you mention, "I'm not allowed to take a cruise I want, therefore it should change" being "such a misinformed position." applies to a lot of takes I see here and elsewhere on social media.

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DId this reporter take a marijuana?

"The CDC relaxed its rules on cruising in October — too late to rescue 2020’s Alaska cruise season, which generally runs from May until September. But cruising has slowly resumed in places like Florida and Southern California. "

Wait...WHAT???

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/senate-passes-bill-to-lift-restrictions-on-seattle-to-alaska-cruises/?utm_source=marketingcloud&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=TSA_051421034317+Seattle-to-Alaska+cruises+inch+closer+to+restarting_5_13_2021&utm_term=Active subscriber

 

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8 minutes ago, twangster said:

NSO became CSO in October.

"You can not sail" became "It's virtually impossible to sail but we'll tell you more in 188 days".

I guess that amounts to easing restrictions? 

I'll assume that the "journalist" conflated the recent modification of the CSO as being the original CSO.  How that person thinks cruising has begun in CA and FL, well I can't make a guess at that one.

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9 minutes ago, smokeybandit said:

I'll assume that the "journalist" conflated the recent modification of the CSO as being the original CSO.  How that person thinks cruising has begun in CA and FL, well I can't make a guess at that one.

Some small US flagged cruise lines have resumed service.  That was April IIRC, at least in Florida.  

Ships too small for the CSO to apply.

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Governor Inslee released a list of things that will open up in Washington State on June 30th.

Cruise ships was not on the list.  It only allows ships carrying up to 250 passengers.

Until he changes his position, there will be no Alaska Cruises from Seattle.

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11 minutes ago, TXcruzer said:

Governor Inslee released a list of things that will open up in Washington State on June 30th.

Cruise ships was not on the list.  It only allows ships carrying up to 250 passengers.

Until he changes his position, there will be no Alaska Cruises from Seattle.

Isn't that merely mirroring CDC cruise ship guidance though?

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I'm not a resident of the state of Washington but confusion about what mitigation measures apply and which don't is typical. 

Its important to distinguish between pandemic related CDC recommendations for PH authorities at the state level - none of these are mandatory - and CDC recommendations for the cruise lines that have become mandatory and enforceable regulations via U.S.C. 42.

CDC recommendations for various mitigation measures become enforceable mandates or they don't by virtue of how state and county officials promulgate them. Every state, and even every county's level of enforceability is different albeit there may be similarities.

There has never been a national mandate for any pandemic related mitigation measure in the US outside of the cruise lines.  That is atypical as most countries have national plans. It is what it is in the US because of the principals of Federalism and state's rights in the US Constitution. There are advantages and disadvantages to both national plans and Federalism that produces a patchwork - some will say more regionally tailored - approach.    

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11 minutes ago, smokeybandit said:

If the author can't even get the CSO timeline right, I doubt there's any knowledge of <250 passenger sailings happening

I believe she was referring to the October 2020 elimination of the NSO and introduction of the CSO.  IIRC we all were duped into thinking that was a relaxation of the rules.

 

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14 hours ago, SpeedNoodles said:

DId this reporter take a marijuana?

"The CDC relaxed its rules on cruising in October — too late to rescue 2020’s Alaska cruise season, which generally runs from May until September. But cruising has slowly resumed in places like Florida and Southern California. "

Wait...WHAT???

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/senate-passes-bill-to-lift-restrictions-on-seattle-to-alaska-cruises/?utm_source=marketingcloud&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=TSA_051421034317+Seattle-to-Alaska+cruises+inch+closer+to+restarting_5_13_2021&utm_term=Active subscriber

 

Sloppy!  Demonstrates the laziness an/or ignorance of those working for information outlets. 

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The errors in the subject article - Senate passes bill to lift restrictions on Seattle-to-Alaska cruises - are more errors of definition and completeness than they are of errors in content. That's how I read it. Its the headline and article content that are good representations of the level of misleading or ignorant of the facts reporting that we'll be seeing in news reports going forward as the pandemic impact fades.

The article implies (Picture of NCL large cruise ship with Seattle sky line in the background) but does not state that large size cruise ships will be sailing next Monday from the Port of Seattle as a result of MurKowski's bill. The average Joe on the street does not understand nor does he care about the complexities of cruise ships restarting Alaska sailings from Seattle. This article implies a restart is imminent.  

You have to read the entire article carefully AND have followed this cruise line mess closely to understand what's going on with the Murkowski bill and how it fits into the many actions that are currently, or will be in the immediate future, impactful on a restart of cruise ship sailings from US ports. I don' t have a problem with the article but that's because I know what's going on.

These are the only statements in the article that what I would consider erroneous in content: 

"Critics have argued that cruise lines register their ships outside the United States to avoid paying federal taxes."

"Foreign-flagged vessels are also not required to adhere to American labor and safety rules, environmental laws and other regulations."

Do cruise lines pay federal taxes? They do but the rate cruise lines pay is considerably less than the going rate. That's because of complex taxing agreements dating back to the early 1900s between the US and certain countries that trade regularly between each other ..... we won't tax your shipping company if you don't tax ours. They also pay state taxes and typically, a per head tax to ports at which they are making a call. A mega-cruise calling on 7 ports in a 10 day itinerary will be up to $50K per port call. That's close to a cool 1/2 million in fees ..... and that's for ONE cruise. Ask again why the taxes and port fees that appear on your invoice are part of the cost of your cruise.  The last sentence in the article is just wrong on a number of levels. Is RCL, a company whose ships are registered and flagged in Liberia, exempt from complying with the CSO? The Vessel Sanitation Program? Uhhh, No.

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36 minutes ago, Baked Alaska said:

Are there any other ports Radiance could start or end besides Seattle if Vancouver is out (assuming they would still go with the open-jaw sailing)?

The bill that passed the senate specifically identifies Washington state.  

I'm not sure of another deep water port suitable for cruise ships in the state.

Astoria, Oregon is close by relative measures but a rather technical port to sail in and out of and being in a different state takes it off the list even if it somehow made it on a list given it's other technical challenges.  

Nothing jumps out as an alternative to Seattle.

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Here's where we are with Congress and the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act

image.png.59c478d8a987c90762ff387b46581c30.png

image.thumb.png.350ff0cfe5927cd5e7bb56469eea9c31.png

Now, what does "Held at the desk" mean? 

image.thumb.png.dcb2a5271186a920c8bda43e1bdf3833.png

In English, that means the bill was requested by the Representative who introduced the Bill (Don Young of Alaska) to be held, so it could be considered by the whole House of Representatives (as opposed to being shuttled off to a committee) and passed by Unanimous Consent (Similar to the Senate, there is no vote, it just wasn't objected to). 

There is currently no indication of when Representative Young will request Unanimous Consent for this Bill. I am guessing he is probably checking with his colleagues to make sure no one WILL object. (An objection, by anyone of the 435 members, ends this request for Unanimous Consent, but it will also provide an opportunity, as we saw in the Senate, to resolve whatever differences are there and then make another request for unanimous consent.)

If passed, it will go to President Biden within a week or so for his signature. But the passage of the bill will more than likely be enough for the cruise lines/CLIA to get ready for a late Alaska 2021 season, as I don't see the President vetoing this.

THEN it'll be back seeing what happens with the CDC. (womp womp)

Personally, I am hopeful, 60/40 it'll pass on the 1st attempt.

For those who want to keep track of this themselves, 

Actions - S.593 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): Alaska Tourism Restoration Act | Congress.gov | Library of Congress 

If nothing comes up, just search congress.gov for the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act or S.593

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