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New guidelines out for July sailings out of FL


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6 hours ago, UNCFanatik said:

Is amazing to me to see the same people so anxious to get cruising back up and running now wanting to deny boarding to families with children. Not to mention the current vaccine concern for those 12-16. As an aside, the ever incompetent CDC pushed back “emergency hearing” on this issue until next week. CDC is a joke. They paused the J&J vaccine for less than this. 
 

from a business perspective, Royal doesn’t want to turn away families and there is no guarantee that they ever could have met the 95% vaccinated passengers in the Caribbean this summer.
 

There won’t be 100% vaccinated sailings this summer in Caribbean. The adventure didn’t have 95% vaccinated rate among passengers. 
 

what would you have Royal do? Ban all children this summer? Refund more people? There is zero way from stopping Covid on cruise ships. ZERO. and if you are vaccinated believe in science! Trust the vaccine. It will be ok if you sit with unvaccinated people! I would sit with them and I am vaccinated! I just flew on a plane with 200 of my closest friends for a 3 hour flight. Stop the fear. 
 

 

These new protocols really are to discourage those who are not vaccinated to not sail for now. You’ll get the die hards but your average cruiser probably will wait. 
 

Also.....From a business standpoint: Royal has an opportunity here to snag those Disney cruisers. Disney is shutdown. There’s no way they can start anytime soon. The unvaccinated kids would outnumber vaccinated adults. This is Royal’s chance to wow them over. 
 

These protocols are cumbersome for the unvaccinated and that is the point. 

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12 minutes ago, vanelli56 said:

Not trying to start a vax / anti-vax debate.... but in all my reading I still have not found a coherent response to the question: If you are vaccinated, why do you feel 'at risk' around un-vaccinated? 

I completely understand the argument that an un-vaxxed person can spread it to another un-vaxxed person, etc... but given the guidance RCL just issued about segregating the groups for certain events and dining, that just seems a little bit overboard. (look... I made a pun!) ? 

Well that question is a sure way to get this thread locked.  ? 

I'll give my simple perspective... vaccines aren't as protective against the new variants/strains of COVID and the biggest threat is the Delta strain which is the cause of surges in the UK and is taking a foothold in the US.  So even vaccinated people are still "at risk" of catching COVID, abet a milder form and hopefully not bad enough to allow that person to spread the disease (research is still out on that).  On a cruise however you feel more "at risk" because if you catch COVID, you may have to cut the cruise short due to the protocols and I know I don't want that for me having waited so long to get a boat.

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19 minutes ago, Jill said:

These new protocols really are to discourage those who are not vaccinated to not sail for now. You’ll get the die hards but your average cruiser probably will wait. 
 

Also.....From a business standpoint: Royal has an opportunity here to snag those Disney cruisers. Disney is shutdown. There’s no way they can start anytime soon. The unvaccinated kids would outnumber vaccinated adults. This is Royal’s chance to wow them over. 
 

These protocols are cumbersome for the unvaccinated and that is the point. 


Doubtful ….. why would vaccinated parents want to book and pay for a cruise where the ENTIRE family will be segregated to a LESSER cruise experience because their kids aren’t vaccinated???  I seriously doubt anybody who wanted to take their kids on a FUN Disney cruise will sign up for a SEGRATED “family” cruise on RCL, they might as well just take their kids to Disney Word or on a beach vacation where they can actually have a good time for their money.


 

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54 minutes ago, Jverge said:

Well that question is a sure way to get this thread locked.  ? 

I'll give my simple perspective... vaccines aren't as protective against the new variants/strains of COVID and the biggest threat is the Delta strain which is the cause of surges in the UK and is taking a foothold in the US.  So even vaccinated people are still "at risk" of catching COVID, abet a milder form and hopefully not bad enough to allow that person to spread the disease (research is still out on that).  On a cruise however you feel more "at risk" because if you catch COVID, you may have to cut the cruise short due to the protocols and I know I don't want that for me having waited so long to get a boat.


The problem in the UK isn’t that the vaccine isn’t working against the Delta Variant, the problem is that the majority of the UK is only HALF vaccinated.  Their prime minister chose to spread their doses 4 months apart to get more people partially vaccinated faster rather than concentrating on getting people fully vaccinated ….. and it’s now blown up in his face.  You can’t compare the UK to the US because of that, it’s not apples to apples ….. it’s more like comparing apples to avocados.

 

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1 hour ago, vanelli56 said:

Not trying to start a vax / anti-vax debate.... but in all my reading I still have not found a coherent response to the question: If you are vaccinated, why do you feel 'at risk' around un-vaccinated? 

I completely understand the argument that an un-vaxxed person can spread it to another un-vaxxed person, etc... but given the guidance RCL just issued about segregating the groups for certain events and dining, that just seems a little bit overboard. (look... I made a pun!) ? 

For me its more so an issue for my daughter who is too young for the vaccine. I would prefer her around her vaccinated family and not always stuck in a group of all the unvaccinated people on the cruise. 

In our case we won't be sending her to AO ( usually do) and she will be travelling with 4 vaccinated adults. Feel like she should be considered in our vaccinated bubble. But thats just the perspective from a person with a young child. I know adults who travel without kids would have a different opinion. 

I also won't be happy if some locations,  restaurants specifically are off limits for us because of it. If my trip in forced to a small area of the MDR for the unvaxxed group we will most likely not be sailing.

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12 hours ago, smokeybandit said:

The whole reason is to try to discourage unvaccinated adults from cruising.  

 

Also I found this interesting

"In the coming days, we are expecting updated guidance from the CDC on mask policies for vaccinated guests and will update you at that time."

 

To me that says by the time these cruises start, vaccinated people won't have to wear masks anywhere on the ship.

I am certainly hoping that by the time of my cruise, August, all vaccinated people will be able to go without a mask all over the ship.

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10 minutes ago, LizzyBee23 said:

The quickest way to kick start an outbreak on board would probably be by putting all of the unvaccinated people together. Really is beyond comprehension.


EXACTLY ….. The whole science of herd immunity is based on having a MIXED population where at least 70 to 80% are immune to the virus either by vaccination or prior infection.  It’s boggles my mind that so many vaccinated people don’t trust their vaccine!!!!!

 

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11 minutes ago, ChrisK2793 said:


EXACTLY ….. The whole science of herd immunity is based on having a MIXED population where at least 70 to 80% are immune to the virus either by vaccination or prior infection.  It’s boggles my mind that so many vaccinated people don’t trust their vaccine!!!!!

 

Because for so long federal and state public health "experts" said to not trust the vaccine even if you got it.

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19 minutes ago, smokeybandit said:

Because for so long federal and state public health "experts" said to not trust the vaccine even if you got it.


Except they’ve finally admitted that studies have proved them wrong and that they only said that out of an abundance of caution until they had real world evidence to say you should trust the vaccine.

 

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CDC logic at its finest.  

As a vaccinated person I couldn't give a hoot if others are not, so long as what is happening on Odyssey with her crew isn't the response when the unvaccinated become infected - complete shipwide lockdown, everyone to their cabins.  I get why they did that on Odyssey, they need time after getting vaccinated for maximum protection to become effective.  If that will be the response on a revenue cruise I'm not interested.

Back here in the real world (on land) I go out and enjoy life.  When I'm sitting at a restaurant or at a bar it doesn't even cross my mind if the people near me are vaccinated or not.  I couldn't care.  On a ship I would have been the same way, except... now I am forced to wear a mask indoors on a ship just to accommodate the unvaccinated.  Now they've ruined my vacation.  

41 minutes ago, ChrisK2793 said:

 It’s boggles my mind that so many vaccinated people don’t trust their vaccine!!!!!

My only "fear" of unvaccinated on a ship with me would be them ruining my cruise.  If I have to wear mask or if they get infected and the cruise stops then it's a problem.  

The protocols are designed to make cruising unattractive to the unvaccinated.  The protocols required because of the unvaccinated are killing the cruise experience.  

Time to cruise from somewhere other than Florida. 

Thanks Gov.

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35 minutes ago, LizzyBee23 said:

The quickest way to kick start an outbreak on board would probably be by putting all of the unvaccinated people together. Really is beyond comprehension.

This is so blindingly obvious as to bring RCL's selection of and approach to a hybrid passenger manifest into question. It seems to me that RCL"s objective is to make it so onerous for the un-vaxed to cruise that they won't. That's putting coercive policy above health and safety.

I applaud the rest of the lines for saying you have to be vaccinated to board. Period, final. Clean, plain and simple.  

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10 minutes ago, JeffB said:

This is so blindingly obvious as to bring RCL's selection of and approach to a hybrid passenger manifest into question. It seems to me that RCL"s objective is to make it so onerous for the un-vaxed to cruise that they won't. That's putting coercive policy above health and safety.

I applaud the rest of the lines for saying you have to be vaccinated to board. Period, final. Clean, plain and simple.  


‘That’s all well and good ….. I just don’t think vaccinated adults who want to go on cruises with their unvaccinated children should be penalized ….. there’s no reason at all to not treat unvaccinated children in a party with vaccinated adults the same as their parents. …… ie treating the children as if they were vaccinated ….. not forcing the vaccinated parents into segregation.

 

 

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17 minutes ago, ChrisK2793 said:


‘That’s all well and good ….. I just don’t think vaccinated adults who want to go on cruises with their unvaccinated children should be penalized ….. there’s no reason at all to not treat unvaccinated children in a party with vaccinated adults the same as their parents. …… ie treating the children as if they were vaccinated ….. not forcing the vaccinated parents into segregation.

The NCL approach is zero unvaccinated.   They aren't offering a payment refund either.  Their "refund" is FCC.  Got kids?  NCL says "No cruise for you".

Royal is doing their best to navigate rough seas battered by hurricane Walensky on the west and tropical storm DeSantis on the east.  They are trying to figure a way for families with kids to be accommodated while working within the silly constraints of the CDC and the absurd policies of Florida. 

Royal isn't to blame for this compromise.  Our federal and state governments are.

 

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28 minutes ago, ChrisK2793 said:


‘That’s all well and good ….. I just don’t think vaccinated adults who want to go on cruises with their unvaccinated children should be penalized ….. there’s no reason at all to not treat unvaccinated children in a party with vaccinated adults the same as their parents. …… ie treating the children as if they were vaccinated ….. not forcing the vaccinated parents into segregation.

 

 

I agree with you. My point is that with RCL choosing a path to restart that involves a hybrid passenger manifest presents RCL with problems like the one you mention. It's going to be very tough to deal with them but apparently they have chosen to so so. I think it's a bad choice. 

I'll admit, I don't have children I want to take on a cruise right now so, I'm less empathetic with parents who do want to do that than I should be. I have a gut feeling - maybe just a hope - this is all going to be moot in about 2 weeks. I'll post why in a moment.

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14 minutes ago, ConstantCruiser said:

The NCL approach is zero unvaccinated.   They aren't offering a payment refund either.  Their "refund" is FCC.  Got kids?  NCL says "No cruise for you".

Royal is doing their best to navigate rough seas battered by hurricane Walensky on the west and tropical storm DeSantis on the east.  They are trying to figure a way for families with kids to be accommodated while working within the silly constraints of the CDC and the absurd policies of Florida. 

Royal isn't to blame for this compromise.  Our federal and state governments are.

 


Again, if they expect vaccinated parents with unvaccinated kids to go on their cruises knowing the entire family will be segregated to a LESSER-status, they’re going to be in for a rude awakening.  Especially families paying for suites ….. that’s not going to go over well and I see a massive cascade of cancellations if that’s how vaccinated families with unvaccinated children are going to be treated.  
 

 

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11 minutes ago, ChrisK2793 said:


Again, if they expect vaccinated parents with unvaccinated kids to go on their cruises knowing the entire family will be segregated to a LESSER-status, they’re going to be in for a rude awakening.  Especially families paying for suites ….. that’s not going to go over well and I see a massive cascade of cancellations if that’s how vaccinated families with unvaccinated children are going to be treated.  
 

 

Yes.  However it's the guests choice to cancel.  NCL isn't giving families a choice.  

Rock < Royal > Hard Place.

A while ago in a thread that was locked the question was asked - What can cruise lines do to get around the Florida vaccination passport ban?

The obvious answer was onerous protocols on unvaccinated to motivate them to not cruise.

Now we are seeing the outcome when governments quickly whip up law without thinking it through.  

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31 minutes ago, ConstantCruiser said:

Yes.  However it's the guests choice to cancel.  NCL isn't giving families a choice.  

Rock < Royal > Hard Place.

A while ago in a thread that was locked the question was asked - What can cruise lines do to get around the Florida vaccination passport ban?

The obvious answer was onerous protocols on unvaccinated to motivate them to not cruise.

Now we are seeing the outcome when governments quickly whip up law without thinking it through.  


‘Good luck to NCL with the lawsuits if they’re telling families with kids that they can’t go on a cruise and also can’t have a cash refund of what they paid to go on said cruise when NCL is the one who cancelled them from going  LMAO ? 

 

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Some facts:

  • Indoor congregate settings like cruise ships present an increased risk of becoming infected with both airborne and surface-born pathogens and subsequent acceleration among passengers.
  • The CDC has established guidance that those people vaccinated for SARS2 can "resume activities that you did before the pandemic."
  • Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
  • Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
  • Travelers are not required to wear a mask in outdoor areas of a conveyance (like on a ferry or the top deck of a bus).
  • CDC recommends that travelers who are not fully vaccinated continue to wear a mask and maintain physical distance when traveling.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html

OK, so you've read the facts. I find them clear wrt the increased risks of infection on a cruise ship and a need to address that risk, unclear with respect to passenger behaviors on a cruise ship. There's plenty of wiggle room here with respect to masking. There's no CDC guidance that recommends masking within indoor settings. The CDC requires them on some federally regulated transportation hubs and conveyances but notably not in cruise terminals or on cruise ships. It leaves it up to businesses (cruise lines) to decide on mitigation measures inside their places of business.... and I'm still not completely clear on whether it is state or federal regulatory authority inside a cruise terminal (see previous comments on the FL law suit and what Merryday is likely going to have to deal with) or with respect to the VSP for cruise ships within a port.

The determination of that question, if, in fact, it gets addressed and I think it will, is the wild cared in this discussion. IMO. If Merryday definitively rules or even suggests that the CSO conflicts with a businesses right or the state's authority to regulate cruise ship's and it's ancillary support operations and is, in part or fully unlawful, our discussion on this issue becomes moot.    

TBF, I don't think the CDC guidance presents any barriers to co-mingling of masked (un-vaxed) and unmasked (vaxed) passengers on a cruise ship. I think it is clear that if you are "traveling" and I assume this means on a cruise ship, if you are unvaxed, you should mask except outdoors and in all settings maintain social distancing. 

Having said that and just in case Merryday rules the CSO is lawful, it seems to me that RCL has unnecessarily complicated it's health and safety protocols on board their ships with what I'd call coercive policies (that they are severely onerous so as to discourage sailing) and unnecessary mitigation measures (e.g., segregation and restricted access).

Sure, it's pretty clear RCL is choosing not to confront Desantis on the vaccine issues and is trying to conform to the rules of the CSO but, IMO, in doing that they've made a mess of it. If I were writing the protocols for RCL they'd look something like this:

  • Vaccination is encouraged to board except for children under 16 to August first and under 12 after that.
  • You may choose to not disclose your vaccination status.
  • If you choose to not disclose, you must present proof of a negative molecular (PCR) COVID test within 72h of boarding. This requirement pertains to all passengers including children.
  • Unvaccinated passengers will be listed as such on privately maintained rosters and be subject to randomly scheduled rapid antigen testing at the discretion of RCL. This requirement pertains to all passengers including children.
  • Unvaccinated passengers must follow CDC guidance to mask indoors at all times, except when seated and eating or drinking and when social distancing cannot be maintained. Children under 16 to August 1st and under 12 after that are exempt from a requirement to mask in any setting.

Admittedly I struggled with the kids. The science supports very low transmission rates in this cohort so, one could argue they don't need to be surveilled while onboard with a rapid antigen tests. I'm with others here who are vaccinated and don't worry about being among the unvaccinated. I think the risk of infection in this cohort followed by asymptomatic transmission is over-blown. TBC, while I'm in favor of surveilling unvaccinated passengers there are lots of ways to do this effectively without antigen testing everyone. In fact there's a sweet spot to hit with this sort of thing where you avoid potential for high numbers of false positives.

 

 

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2 hours ago, ChrisK2793 said:


Doubtful ….. why would vaccinated parents want to book and pay for a cruise where the ENTIRE family will be segregated to a LESSER cruise experience because their kids aren’t vaccinated???  I seriously doubt anybody who wanted to take their kids on a FUN Disney cruise will sign up for a SEGRATED “family” cruise on RCL, they might as well just take their kids to Disney Word or on a beach vacation where they can actually have a good time for their money.


 

I’m talking about those eligible for a vaccine (adult) and choose not to take it. That’s who Royal is trying to discourage. 
 

Adventure is sailing right now with unvaccinated children. They aren’t separated from their parents. 
 

 

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23 minutes ago, Jill said:

I’m talking about those eligible for a vaccine (adult) and choose not to take it. That’s who Royal is trying to discourage. 
 

Adventure is sailing right now with unvaccinated children. They aren’t separated from their parents. 
 

 


Adventure also isn’t a mixed cruise as far as adults are concerned  …… the current guidelines for mixed (adults vaccinated and non-vaccinated) cruises state the unvaccinated will be segregated ….. it doesn’t state any allowance for children in a vaccinated adult group.  Going by those guidelines, until RCL says otherwise, one can only guess that vaccinated adults will be forced to be segregated into the unvaccinated LESSER quality experience to be with their children.

 

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From a purely safety standpoint, wouldn't it make more sense to fully integrate unvaxed pax with vaxed pax?  If you put a bunch of unvaxed people together to eat without a mask on, it seems like if there was a covid positive individual, it would spread much more readily within this crowd.  Vaxed people could potentially buffer that from happening due to decreased viral loads/shedding, no?  It seems like some of these procedures are more to provide gentle pressure to pax to get their vaccine so that they don't have to deal with the inconvenience and extra cost.

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So last night I was literally booking a cruise online filling out forms and clicked over to Matt’s blog and saw this. It made me pause because it doesn’t sound anything like the current experience I have been reading about and seeing coming from Adventure this week. I realize Royal is trying to navigate this complex situation between the CDC, the governors restrictions around vaccine proof, and the desire to serve families. But it still sounds like an experience I am not interested in.

I am looking at a date in December and would hope these things would change by then.  To me asking vaccinated people to wear masks indoors in certain situations just doesn’t align to what is happening everywhere in the US at this point.   

I would have seen things differently just a couple months ago, but things are so much more normalish now.  So at this point I am not sure if I am booking or not. 

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