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Good afternoon all.

I have three Royal cruises booked for 2022, the first is in January. Does it make sense to pay the final balance early in case it gets cancelled so I can get the 120% credit and apply that to one of my other cruises?

Obviously, I hope none of them are cancelled!  Thoughts?

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My Two Cents:

  • Cruise ships, in limited numbers, will start sailing in July, certainly, I would think by January 2022 barring any major pandemic setbacks in the US. Celebrity wins the poll position and starts June 26th - maybe. I'll get to that.
  • I'm not keeping track but counting on my fingers and toes, I think there will be around a dozen sailings from US ports in July (some of them test cruises) alone and this number will gradually increase through December. I believe more than 1/2 of RCL's fleet will be sailing by January from US ports. You'll sail in January, 2022.
  • Given RCL's choice of a hybrid passenger manifest, there will be the expected, not fun-inducing mitigation measures in place until ....... I'll get to that. That will keep you feeling nervous about your cruse. Don't be.
  • On the Desantis ban on businesses requiring vaccination to enter/receive services wrt to cruise ships:  Big time politics are now involved in FL complicating already complicated maritime laws and PHE derived jurisdiction involving the CDC  where state and federal authority overlaps. 31d are left to sort this out.
  • If FL loses it's law suit v. CDC/HHS, federal jurisdiction in all matters pertaining to ship safety and sanitation - the basis of the CSO - will be affirmed and the CSO regarded as lawful. To that end, the CDC recommends vaccinations for passengers to board a cruise ship and the Desantis ban will run afoul of the fed's authority to set reasonable safety and health standards aboard cruise ships operating in US waters (up to the water's edge). The authority of a cruise line to require vaccination for passengers to sail will be affirmed.  OTH, if FL prevails v. HHS/CDC, state jurisdiction over the matters in question will be affirmed. Desantis will create a carve out for the cruise industry, claim victory (see the Sun Sentinel article), everyone will be happy and ships will be able to start sailing from FL and TX ports, probably others. TBH I think FL looses.   
  • I think the PHE in the US will end before December 31st. If that happens, it will be up to the cruise lines to determine what SARS2 related health and safety standards they want to sail with, not the CDC. Of course, the Vessel Safety Program and foreign ports they wish to visit will regulate that to an extent. The CDC is a player within that for US ports only. Their powers to regulate in US ports, though, are limited and regulation falls back to congress, where it should be, in that case, I believe.

The bottom line, IMO, is that a lot hinges on the outcome of the FL law suit. I'm watching this, along with others here, closely. It is possible that resolution of the kerfuffel between Desantis and the cruise lines over requiring vaccinations to cruise from FL ports could be resolved before FL's law suit v HHS/CDC is resolved. That would be nice but for reasons already discussed, Desantis is not going to publicly back down before he's got a reading on his law suit. There's also the possibility, although I think it's unlikely, that mediation will produce an agreement between the CDC and FL. Depending on the details of the agreement, that could change things but it would seem to me more in a positive direction.  

 

 

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37 minutes ago, cruisellama said:

This law suit could continue to delay until 1 Nov (that way neither side loses).  The feds allow the limitation to expire and its all moot at that point.

It could but if memory serves, Merryday said you guys sitting down at the mediation table have until June 7th to get an agreement or send it back to me. As well, the District Court in Tampa is operating under a requested (by FL) and approved expedited hearing for a timely injunction voiding the CSO. I don't think Merryday can sit on this until November. I think he'll rule within days of this thing getting kicked back to him.

Barring a settlemt at mediation and regardless of Merryday's ruling, if he ends up making one, one way or the other, there will be an appeal. If Merryday grants FL's request for an injunction it will take effect immediately, the CSO is done pending a ruling on appeal to reverse Merryday's ruling. After a successful appeal to reverse, it would be reinstated. I'd expect all of that to get resolved in a month. 

If Merryday rules in favor of the feds, the CSO stands along with affirmation that the feds have jurisdiction in the matters at hand. FL will appeal but the CSO will remain in place. The Desantis ban on businesses requiring vaccination to enter/receive services is doomed. To be more accurate it is doomed when it will undoubtedly be challenged as unlawful citing the FL law suit outcome as precedential.   

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