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The Must-Wear-a-Face-Mask Protocol for vaccinated passengers


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It seems that all of the announced face mask protocols on every ship except for Adventure of the Seas out of Nassau has vaccinated passengers required to wear face masks everywhere unvaccinated people wear them, except in areas designated only for vaccinated passengers (which is just a small number of venues or areas in larger venues, which is better than nothing in some respects, but basically entails wearing a mask to move anywhere between such venues and other places, too).

This is my deal-breaker, after traveling on Adventure of the Seas for 3 sailings without needing a mask anywhere aboard ship, and then spending most of an entire day returning home through airports and air travel where I pretty much was forced to wear a mask continuously. Not gonna happen; I'm not gonna even get on a flight with a connection again until this masking requirement is over. It was just unbearable for extended periods, and I'm going to choose not to have a mask in hand everywhere I go all the time, either.

I think earlier Michael Bayley had even stated that we were expecting some updated face mask guidance from the CDC that would change this, conspicuously mentioned like it were a sign we should not get worked up about the protocol as it would be changing. Yet, so far, there's been nothing.

Has anyone heard anything more on this? Certainly a lot will likely change over the course of the next 2 1/2 months before I have a sailing on a ship where this may matter, and even then, sailing from a NJ port may entail different protocols from any we've seen so far, anyway. I just wish we'd see some better movement on this one earlier.

 

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19 minutes ago, cruisinghawg said:

July 18th could prove interesting.

Agree and frankly counting on this.
 

The only reason this exists on these cruises is the CSO from the CDC. If the CDC guidance default to only suggestions on the 18th, my assumption is RCL will drop the mask policy if you are vaccinated. 

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I have a friend who works for American, he said they were told mask would be a thing until at least Jan 2022. The variants, plus the regular flu/cold season is the main reason why.

I don't bank on July 18th being anything. Without it being a "everyone who can/want to be vax cruise," mask are going to be a thing. We could hope that those who are vax should be allowed to go maskless but the cruise lines have too much at stake.

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13 minutes ago, Ampurp85 said:

I have a friend who works for American, he said they were told mask would be a thing until at least Jan 2022. The variants, plus the regular flu/cold season is the main reason why.

I don't bank on July 18th being anything. Without it being a "everyone who can/want to be vax cruise," mask are going to be a thing. We could hope that those who are vax should be allowed to go maskless but the cruise lines have too much at stake.

Agree they have a lot at stake, but they don’t make vaccinated passengers wear masks on Adventure. Why would they out of the US unless being mandated by the CDC?

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15 minutes ago, Ampurp85 said:

I have a friend who works for American, he said they were told mask would be a thing until at least Jan 2022. The variants, plus the regular flu/cold season is the main reason why.

I don't bank on July 18th being anything. Without it being a "everyone who can/want to be vax cruise," mask are going to be a thing. We could hope that those who are vax should be allowed to go maskless but the cruise lines have too much at stake.

The 18th is when the CSO could become "null and void". AA has nothing to do with the cruise industry.

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You mean like the masks that worked so well in Japan with a society that has a much higher mask compliance than the US? Japan, who is seeing a surge in Covid cases so much so that no spectators are now going to be allowed at olympics? 
 

The CDC just released their new school guidelines that are saying that unvaccinated children should wear masks. CDC continues to be a joke. 

There will always be new strains of viruses just look at seasonal flu. Covid is well in the way to being endemic. Mass testing needs to end just like they ended testing of H1N1 in 2009-2010. Caseademic at this point. 
 

The variants are now just more panic porn. The Delta variant is no more deadly than original despite what media pushes. 
 

I get that the US wants more people to get vaccinated but fear is not the way to accomplish it

Royal needs to drop masking because masking is just theater at this point and their customers are going to continue to cancel cruises if they continue these masking protocols 

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The foundation of the CDC CSO policy for masks is an order that applies to all "public" transportation and hubs.  The pickle for the CDC would be easing mask requirements for a cruise ship (their evil nemesis) while not easing the mask requirements on a plane, train or bus for example.  That's not going to happen.

The CDC may have been getting close to easing up on their transportation and masking order but with the Delta variant combined with lower than expected vaccination adoption they have backed off from updating this order.

I suppose if we had reached the President's vaccination target on July 4th the CDC would be pressured to give up the mask.  Because we failed to reach vaccination targets the mask order stays - for now.

This isn't the CSO.  It applies to all transportation.  This order is separate from the CSO so it's not clear to me if the Florida lawsuit has any impact on this mask order and it's application to foreign carriers operating from the US.   Consequently it's very possible that the CSO could be reduced to recommendations in the coming weeks but this mask order will still be with us.

 

https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/masks/mask-travel-guidance.html

Order: Wearing of face masks while on conveyances and at transportation hubs

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an Order pdf icon[PDF – 11 pages] on January 29, 2021 requiring the wearing of masks by people on public transportation conveyances or on the premises of transportation hubs to prevent spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. This Order was effective as of 11:59 p.m. February 1, 2021 and was published in the Federal Registerexternal icon on February 3, 2021. CDC will be amending this Order as soon as practicable, to not require that people wear masks while outdoors on conveyances or while outdoors on the premises of transportation hubs.

On June 10, 2021, CDC announced that, until it can amend the January 29, 2021, Order, it will exercise its enforcement discretion regarding certain aspects of the Order to not require that people wear masks while outdoors on conveyances or while outdoors on the premises of transportation hubs. CDC requests that Federal partners and any cooperating state and local entities exercise similar enforcement discretion. This announcement does not affect any existing exemptions or exclusions of the Order. Subject to how other federal partners and state and local entities define “outdoors,” CDC understands “outdoors” to refer to any open-air area.

Conveyance operators must continue to require all people onboard to wear masks when boarding and disembarking, and for the duration of travel, unless they are located in outdoor areas of the conveyance (if such outdoor areas exist on the conveyance). Operators of transportation hubs must require all persons to wear a mask when entering or while located in the indoor premises of a transportation hub.

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I too hope to see mask-wearing eased on board for vaccinated passengers by the time we cruise at the end of September. Since we are sailing in Europe where the CDC has no jurisdiction, it may be down to the governments of the countries we are visiting  (Spain, Italy and France). I would at least hope for the requirement to be relaxed in outdoor areas where social distancing is possible and perhaps a few areas reserved for vaccinated passengers. Also, although there is no mention of it in the protocol, I sincerely hope I will not be expected to wear a mask on the running track. I guess I could argue that that is a situation where it could get wet as I will be sweating all over it! ?

Here in Portugal we have been told to expect mask-wearing to remain in force until at least September and the rules are very strict. You have to wear a mask in any enclosed public space such as shops and in restaurants whenever you are moving about, on public transport and even outside if you are in a busy area where you are unable to maintain a distance of 2 metres, so although these on board rules will be a pain, they won't be that much different from our current day-to-day experience. At least we will not be forced to go on an excursion if we want to get off in the ports.

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10 hours ago, Ampurp85 said:

I have a friend who works for American, he said they were told mask would be a thing until at least Jan 2022. The variants, plus the regular flu/cold season is the main reason why.

I don't bank on July 18th being anything. Without it being a "everyone who can/want to be vax cruise," mask are going to be a thing. We could hope that those who are vax should be allowed to go maskless but the cruise lines have too much at stake.

Last we flew was June 2020.   Fly again this month and the restrictions are greater now than a year ago (and we've been jabbed).

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Honestly, I just don't see the big deal about wearing a mask some of the time on a cruise. Seems like a first world problem. You still get to go on a cruise! I'm sure a lot of people would be happy to go on a cruise, even with tons of restrictions. It's a vacation after all. Again, it's not all the time. Maybe then I would understand. Who wants to wear a mask sitting outside on the pool deck? If all I have to do is pop on a mask when I leave my room, and head to the main dining room, where I can remove it again, I don't really care. It is a minor inconvenience. 

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45 minutes ago, Danielle OG said:

Honestly, I just don't see the big deal about wearing a mask some of the time on a cruise.

Like many things this comes down to personal preferences. 

On Serenade for example lounging in the Solarium watching the world go by requires wearing a mask.  For many people sitting for hours in a space like the Solarium on a sea day and having to wear a mask is a pretty significant factor.  The ear loops start to hurt after a few hours.  After seven days of wearing masks for hours and hours each day?

As a fully vaccinated person for several months having not worn a mask anywhere in my life for the last 45+ days while visiting shops, bars and restaurants or anywhere I go I'm still undecided if I want my vacation impacted to this extent.  Once you get a taste of the maskless life it's hard to put one on and be happy about it.   Three days on Freedom is one thing.  Eight days on a different ship?  Undecided.   

I have a 14 night cruise booked this fall.  If masks are still required I don't see buying a whole new stockpile of masks and putting up with masks for that cruise.  

Thankfully they are giving me the CWC option.

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Having been on a cruise where a mask was required, I can say it's not as bad as you might think.

First and foremost, no, I don't want to wear a mask on a ship.  So I really get the frustration.  But after 15 months, I'm willing to do handstands if needbe to get onboard.

Second, you basically wear a mask when going from point A to point B. I cannot think of a time on Freedom where I stood around and wore a mask. Any restaurant you can take it off, and there are so many vaccinated zones.  Of course, if you're outside, no mask. 

Lastly, I don't think the mask rule will be here for long.  I think the CDC will relent in lowering the requirements sooner than later.

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13 minutes ago, Matt said:

Having been on a cruise where a mask was required, I can say it's not as bad as you might think.

First and foremost, no, I don't want to wear a mask on a ship.  So I really get the frustration.  But after 15 months, I'm willing to do handstands if needbe to get onboard.

Second, you basically wear a mask when going from point A to point B. I cannot think of a time on Freedom where I stood around and wore a mask. Any restaurant you can take it off, and there are so many vaccinated zones.  Of course, if you're outside, no mask. 

Lastly, I don't think the mask rule will be here for long.  I think the CDC will relent in lowering the requirements sooner than later.


Did you happen to notice what it’s like for vaccinated adults that have unvaccinated kids ….. what’s the experience like?

 

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8 minutes ago, ChrisK2793 said:


Did you happen to notice what it’s like for vaccinated adults that have unvaccinated kids ….. what’s the experience like?

 

If kids are with you, then you're treated as unvaccinated.  

When my kids are with me, where do I go onboard that is indoors?

  • Windjammer or MDR (masks off while dining)
  • Lounges for trivia (masks off if I have a drink, which I commonly do)

The biggest issue for my family (if they had come) would have been kids couldn't come to Izumi hibachi because that's a vaccinated zone only. 

My kids wore their masks on Adventure for 2 weeks, but they were also used to wearing masks at school.  

As long as there is lots of air conditioning, wearing a mask isn't a problem for me.

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1 hour ago, Danielle OG said:

Honestly, I just don't see the big deal about wearing a mask some of the time on a cruise. Seems like a first world problem. You still get to go on a cruise! I'm sure a lot of people would be happy to go on a cruise, even with tons of restrictions. It's a vacation after all. Again, it's not all the time. Maybe then I would understand. Who wants to wear a mask sitting outside on the pool deck? If all I have to do is pop on a mask when I leave my room, and head to the main dining room, where I can remove it again, I don't really care. It is a minor inconvenience. 

It’s just a mask…

its just 2 weeks…

it’s just 15 days to slow the spread..

its just shutting down children’s playgrounds to protect them..

its just closing beaches…

its just a 5 year old wearing a mask all day in school…

its just having children at summer camps in extreme temps required to wear masks..

it’s just suspending elective surgeries at hospitals for a Covid surge that didn’t happen…

its just an increased rate in suicides among young people because of isolation…

I’m sorry but it is a big deal when the CDC and our government has been so wrong so often about Covid and Covid protocols/lockdowns over the last year

Hopefully we learn from the past and seriously evaluate the mitigation methods taken against Covid and not repeat these same mistakes moving forward and this includes the cruise lines and masking. After July 18 when the CSO is no longer enforceable, masks should not be required on cruise ships. Cause guess what, even with masks, Covid cases will happen. 

 

 

 

 

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19 minutes ago, UNCFanatik said:

if the cruise lines continue to require vaccinated passengers wear masks then they are the ones ignoring science. 

Every indication is that Royal is anxiously waiting for the CDC to ease off mask restrictions so they aren't required.

What makes you think the cruise lines will require masks absent of the CDC dictating they must?

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