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Richard Fain discusses RC's vaccine strategies


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He is doing the best he can with ever changing information, trying to balance keeping the regulators happy enough and satisfying his customers and employees.  

All that said, the requirements to cruise have changed, don't hold my money hostage or give me "options" I don't want.  

Do the right thing and refund those that want refunds, I am sure there are many willing to take my place.  

 

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It would help if they would just release expected protocols on the NOT-95% ships.   Soon - so people could make up their minds whether the protocols are acceptable to them.  
 

Carnival promised to have their protocols by Friday for their July sailings.
 


 

 

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3 hours ago, icf75 said:

Im interested how it affects UK children who may not be eligible? Additional costs/restrictions?

These are the sorts of corner cases that Royal Caribbean hasn't dealt with well. Things like a 16-17 year-old from the UK trying to sail on Adventure of the Seas, where Royal requires everyone 16 and older to be vaccinated, but that's not possible for the 16-17 year-old from the UK. There similar issues with a short window between kids 16 or 17 who also were booked and were going to be tested, but now had to be vaccinated, but couldn't be fully vaccinated in time because the sailing was too soon after they were finally eligible for the vaccine, so even if they got an appointment on the very day they became eligible, they couldn't be fully vaccinated.

Corner cases But not that hard to predict when you change protocols amidst known variables in what can be done. But you need to be in the mindset of thinking about things like different protocols for vaccinations in countries other than the US. At least now in the US in most places there's sufficient vaccine supply to be able to start the process when one is ready to start. It's now just a shame so few of those remaining unvaccinated seem to be ready.

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As mentioned before - why aren't these cruise lines moving up to NJ (or other state that allows them) and start sailing with vaccinated cruises only. Everyone has a lot to lose if there is a Covid outbreak on any ship during this startup period. Testing is not  reliable, note Jon Rahm who tested negative  then tested positive - testing was done during consecutive days, a chance at $1.5 million down the drain, ouch. 

I am getting the feeling that the cruise lines are reluctant to start US cruising and are waiting for one of them to be first to see what happens.  I also think both Texas and Florida are painting themselves into a corner - I hope they do not drag Alaska into the mess. 

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I think the reason why NY/NJ ports are not sailing yet is the length/type of cruises. In FL and Texas, they can restart with 4-7 night cruises, very easily. Most cruises from the east coast are 7+ days. It is almost not possible to do 3-4 night cruises, with Canada's borders closed and the time it takes to reach the Bahamas.

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13 minutes ago, rcdave said:

As mentioned before - why aren't these cruise lines moving up to NJ (or other state that allows them) and start sailing with vaccinated cruises only.

I would love it if they did! (Full disclaimer here - I live in Jersey)

As far as I can tell, there wouldn't be any legal reason why they couldn't do this. But I think all cruises out of Cape Liberty (Freedom and Oasis) this summer have been canceled.

I'm purely speculating here but I would think it would have to do with travel time to and from Caribbean ports. Any cruise out of Cape Liberty requires at least 2 sea days to get to anywhere in the Caribbean or Bermuda.

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8 minutes ago, Ampurp85 said:

I think the reason why NY/NJ ports are not sailing yet is the length/type of cruises. In FL and Texas, they can restart with 4-7 night cruises, very easily. Most cruises from the east coast are 7+ days. It is almost not possible to do 3-4 night cruises, with Canada's borders closed and the time it takes to reach the Bahamas.

Ah I was two seconds too late with my post!

But yes, this was what I getting at.

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Just my 2 cents:

I don't think he can ask unvaccinated cruisers to pay extra for anything they might incur, above and beyond treatment (which I think anyone should have to pay for on their own, regardless of vaccination status). If you get sick/injured on a cruise, then it's up to you to pay for the treatment. At least that's how I see it, and why I always buy insurance. Also, they can't ask you if you're vaccinated, so they can't make treatment payment assumptions based on that status, right?

I don't think the vaccination concern should be as much of a concern as it is at the moment. Someone correct me if my numbers are way off, but isn't it like above 60% of the country that has had at least one shot? That's not even counting the people who have natural immunity from getting COVID. Those studies are showing that our own antibodies are very effective as well.

Between the large numbers who have been vaccinated and the large numbers who have had COVID, I genuinely believe that herd immunity on a ship is going to be a real thing. 

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22 minutes ago, rcdave said:

As mentioned before - why aren't these cruise lines moving up to NJ (or other state that allows them) and start sailing with vaccinated cruises only. Everyone has a lot to lose if there is a Covid outbreak on any ship during this startup period. Testing is not  reliable, note Jon Rahm who tested negative  then tested positive - testing was done during consecutive days, a chance at $1.5 million down the drain, ouch. 

I am getting the feeling that the cruise lines are reluctant to start US cruising and are waiting for one of them to be first to see what happens.  I also think both Texas and Florida are painting themselves into a corner - I hope they do not drag Alaska into the mess. 

I feel like the ones dragging Alaska into it is Canada, but that's just how my brain works. It is unfortunate that Alaska can only sail if Canada lets them visit, but that's what they agreed to when they set up the cruises from Alaska, so of course there is going to be reliance on that other country to do its part. Sadly, I do not see Canada opening anytime soon. Dropping the CSO entirely would allow the bulk of the cruise industry to get going full swing. I don't want Alaska left out of it (I've been and it's lovely beyond words), and I wish Canada were not set on the course it's on. 

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13 minutes ago, Bowen said:

Between the large numbers who have been vaccinated and the large numbers who have had COVID, I genuinely believe that herd immunity on a ship is going to be a real thing. 

You are correct. However, the epidemiologic term, "herd immunity" has fallen out of favor. That is because technically the term implies eradication of a viral spread - a hazy term at best.  It's been replaced by the concept of manageable disease burden. That is obtainable in a given region or country. Herd immunity wrt SARS2 is probably not obtainable.

But your observation that herd immunity could be a "real thing" aboard ship is possible. That is because the cohort potentially achieving it - cruise ship pax and crew -  is relatively small. Some cruise lines, for all intent and purpose, are trying to create a "bubble" by requiring vaccinations to sail. IMO, this is the best way to achieve the absolute lowest risk of an infection occurring aboard ship - let alone an outbreak - in the critical restart period (the first couple of months). It is also the very best way to not incur the exorbitant costs of having to cut a cruise short due to an outbreak aboard and have to deal with refunds, medical and air transport costs, etc.

One can argue about whether this is good policy or bad considering all the aspects of a cruise line choosing revenue sailings through the 98/95 path or the test cruises required for a hybrid pax manifest path. But there is no arguing that a requirement for all crew and passengers to be vaccinated for a revenue sailing reduces the risk of a SARS2 infection or outbreak to as close to zero as is possible     

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51 minutes ago, rcdave said:

As mentioned before - why aren't these cruise lines moving up to NJ (or other state that allows them) and start sailing with vaccinated cruises only.

I have nothing against NJ for some cruises.  A Bermuda cruise with a stop in Boston on the way back was great.  A New England/Canada fall cruise sometime in the future is on the bucket list.  However, where I live it is cold in the winter especially in January and February.  There is something nice about getting on a plane and flying to Florida in the winter.  We usually spend time in Florida before and after the cruise.  NJ isn't quite so appealing in the wintertime.

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4 hours ago, Bowen said:

I feel like the ones dragging Alaska into it is Canada, but that's just how my brain works. It is unfortunate that Alaska can only sail if Canada lets them visit, but that's what they agreed to when they set up the cruises from Alaska, so of course there is going to be reliance on that other country to do its part. Sadly, I do not see Canada opening anytime soon. Dropping the CSO entirely would allow the bulk of the cruise industry to get going full swing. I don't want Alaska left out of it (I've been and it's lovely beyond words), and I wish Canada were not set on the course it's on. 

I don't believe Canada has any influence at all on the Alaskan season this year.  With the passage of the ATRA, Canada has been removed completely from the equation.

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All I know is that I really like RC ships and the cruise experience, BUT it took me months and months to get my refund, and every day I saw angry posts from people cursing out RC and swearing they would never sail with them again.

Now all this back and forth about vaccines, when it seems really they are just pandering to the egoist Florida governor, and welcoming all to come aboard and spread disease freely.  I cannot afford the time to quarantine and I do not want my vacation to get "messed up."

And so, I am booked on Viking out of Bermuda for the end of this month--no children allowed, all must be vaccinated and tested.  

For 2022 I have already booked two other cruises--neither of them RC yet.  

For me, safety is paramount as we return to the seas.

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3 hours ago, TXcruzer said:

I don't believe Canada has any influence at all on the Alaskan season this year.  With the passage of the ATRA, Canada has been removed completely from the equation.

Right, but they've only been removed because of the CSO. The new law covering CSO ships wouldn't be necessary were Canada open.

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2 hours ago, PhillyLady said:

All I know is that I really like RC ships and the cruise experience, BUT it took me months and months to get my refund, and every day I saw angry posts from people cursing out RC and swearing they would never sail with them again.

Now all this back and forth about vaccines, when it seems really they are just pandering to the egoist Florida governor, and welcoming all to come aboard and spread disease freely.  I cannot afford the time to quarantine and I do not want my vacation to get "messed up."

And so, I am booked on Viking out of Bermuda for the end of this month--no children allowed, all must be vaccinated and tested.  

For 2022 I have already booked two other cruises--neither of them RC yet.  

For me, safety is paramount as we return to the seas.

Truly I think that's the way to go. If someone wants to go on a for sure vaccinated cruise, choose one that doesn't depart in the US. Especially if you're flying out to the ship, it's not a huge issue to fly to another place.

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1 hour ago, LovetoCruise87 said:

No, no, no. I live 20 minutes from Port Canaveral. I love the closeness when we go on a cruise. 

Sailing out of Florida is so good, even for us Texas people. The options are endless with all of the ports there.

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