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Royal No Longer Allowing Unvaccinated Guests 12 and up for cruises that go to St. Thomas?


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2 hours ago, gatorskin76 said:

I really can't see why the US Virgin Islands couldn't have simply said you can't leave the ship if you aren't vaccinated.  To make it 12+ for sailing at all is bit over the top in my opinion.  It's self serving, but they should make it 18+ in my opinion.  Limit it to those that can make a personal choice about vaccination and don't put parents in a position of making that decision for anyone but themselves.  So they will take a ship full of 11 year old children, but not those pesky 12 year old unvaccinated super spreaders.

I have a cruise scheduled for November, so I guess we will see how this all plays out. 

It is a parent's job to make these decisions for their children. 

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2 hours ago, JeffB said:

The pregnant question is not about mask protocols aboard ship but rather how long will lines that have opted to allow unvaxed guests to board and sail at a below 95% vax rate?

I was wondering that myself. Does Royal just bite the bullet and sail at 95% or higher? Seems with them stating that everyone cruising an itinerary to St. Thomas needs to be vaccinated they are heading in that direction. They could decide to not stop at St. Thomas thereby continuing to have ships with a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated. 

Each day brings new problems and new requirements, but we will continue to be flexible with whatever happens with our cruise. 

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30 minutes ago, LovetoCruise87 said:

I was wondering that myself. Does Royal just bite the bullet and sail at 95% or higher? Seems with them stating that everyone cruising an itinerary to St. Thomas needs to be vaccinated they are heading in that direction. They could decide to not stop at St. Thomas thereby continuing to have ships with a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated. 

Each day brings new problems and new requirements, but we will continue to be flexible with whatever happens with our cruise. 

I don't think they will stop going to St Thomas for the simple fact that more and more islands are instituting these rules.  It is becoming a "vaccinated only" world, and those that haven't gotten onboard will be left behind.

We are even beginning to see in this country, cities and municipalities starting to require proof of vaccine for restaurants, bars, museums, broadway plays...............

 

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19 minutes ago, TXcruzer said:

I don't think they will stop going to St Thomas for the simple fact that more and more islands are instituting these rules.  It is becoming a "vaccinated only" world, and those that haven't gotten onboard will be left behind.

We are even beginning to see in this country, cities and municipalities starting to require proof of vaccine for restaurants, bars, museums, broadway plays...............

 

And this is exactly what DeSantis is trying to do with his law. His point is you shouldn’t need a vaccine to participate in everyday life. Grocery, Home Depot, football game etc. He should have exempted cruise lines though as a cruise is not required to live everyday life and given its unique atmosphere, an exemption would have avoided a lot of headaches. 

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15 minutes ago, Jill said:

And this is exactly what DeSantis is trying to do with his law. His point is you shouldn’t need a vaccine to participate in everyday life. Grocery, Home Depot, football game etc. He should have exempted cruise lines though as a cruise is not required to live everyday life and given its unique atmosphere, an exemption would have avoided a lot of headaches. 

Great job Jill, exactly right. The governor spelled out in his executive order what he was talking about by citing restaurants, movies and sporting events. So I am thinking that a rewrite will be in the works with the next session to include something like traveling destinations require proof to be exempted.

Celebrity and Carnival are sailing with vax only over 12 (and I will stand correct if false) and what have we heard from the state, crickets.

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1 hour ago, TXcruzer said:

I don't think they will stop going to St Thomas for the simple fact that more and more islands are instituting these rules.  It is becoming a "vaccinated only" world, and those that haven't gotten onboard will be left behind.

We are even beginning to see in this country, cities and municipalities starting to require proof of vaccine for restaurants, bars, museums, broadway plays...............

 

I just saw something about that...in NYC isn't it?

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I don't see this as being a thing where DeSantis will have a leg to stand on. The ports can do what they want, just like a private business with international ties can. His plan has backfired enough as even some of his constituents no longer back him in this crusade. I hate it.....but for some normalization, vaccine passports are going to have to be a thing. The ports that RCG and other line visit don't have the infrastructure to handle a bad outbreak. Requiring visitors to be vaxxed works in their favor. That is what being vaxxed is mostly about, looking out for others.

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2 hours ago, Ampurp85 said:

I don't see this as being a thing where DeSantis will have a leg to stand on. The ports can do what they want, just like a private business with international ties can. His plan has backfired enough as even some of his constituents no longer back him in this crusade. I hate it.....but for some normalization, vaccine passports are going to have to be a thing. The ports that RCG and other line visit don't have the infrastructure to handle a bad outbreak. Requiring visitors to be vaxxed works in their favor. That is what being vaxxed is mostly about, looking out for others.

When it comes to overseas, the Florida law may just look the other way. As far as constituents no longer backing the law, I’ve seen nothing to that effect here in Florida. As a matter of fact, the state is ready for another influx of residents from states requiring vaccine passports and kids wearing masks in schools. Our real estate here is absolutely booming from all the transfers. My county alone has over 7,000 new students since last year. People want the ability to make their own decisions and not live in a nanny state. 
 

Did he get it wrong with the cruise lines? Yes. Have they now looked the other way? It appears so as Carnival and Celebrity haven’t been fined for sailing vaccinated cruises. 

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@Jill I have been reading think pieces, they pop -up, from some Fl residents who want him to back down because the hospitals are filling up. But you know better than me as you live there. But things like that happens in every state. In Chicago our mayor is not well-liked, lol. Many residents were upset that she allowed Lalapolooza to happen, 100,000+ people who presented a negative Covid test or vax card. But I hear from travelers a totally different story because of what they read from particular residents. Chicago public schools will have mask-enforced class when school starts, regardless of vax status. I know of two families who are moving to Texas because of this. I am sure there are people who will be leaving Chi for FL.

I think Desantis hasn't said or done anything to the cruise lines because that is jobs and revenue. I don't think he has any intention either because of that same reason.

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1 hour ago, Ampurp85 said:

@Jill I have been reading think pieces, they pop -up, from some Fl residents who want him to back down because the hospitals are filling up. But you know better than me as you live there. But things like that happens in every state. In Chicago our mayor is not well-liked, lol. Many residents were upset that she allowed Lalapolooza to happen, 100,000+ people who presented a negative Covid test or vax card. But I hear from travelers a totally different story because of what they read from particular residents. Chicago public schools will have mask-enforced class when school starts, regardless of vax status. I know of two families who are moving to Texas because of this. I am sure there are people who will be leaving Chi for FL.

I think Desantis hasn't said or done anything to the cruise lines because that is jobs and revenue. I don't think he has any intention either because of that same reason.

Our hospitals filling up have nothing to do with the current law. You have to remember we are the #1 tourist destination worldwide. We were doing absolutely fine with positivity rates less than 3% up until 3 weeks ago. We have THOUSANDS flying into this state everyday for leisure. Of course we’re going to see increases before anyone else. 
 

This virus isn’t going away. The death rate is not corresponding with hospitalizations. The vaccines are generally working in that it’s keeping people out of the hospital and from dying. 
 

Vaccine passports wouldn’t have stopped this IMO. All vaccine passports are good for is increasing the divide in this country. 
 

The blame lies in the messaging. It’s been poor from the get go. Do this, don’t do this. Shame rarely works. Distrust is huge right now. I don’t know the answer but locking us down again isn’t the answer. 

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@JillI don't think a lock-down is necessary and I agree that the way things are portrayed by the media is the problem. Our positivity rates have gone up and it is imho a combination of going about our lives and tourist.  Your also right about the divide, we see that even on a kind blog like this one. Almost every thread has people blaming now. As a fat woman,  I can also agree that shame doesn't work....understanding and compassion does.

It sucks that so many people can't and/or won't cruise under the current conditions and protocols. I believe RCG is doing the best they can. Just like the ports are doing the best they can.

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Here’s an interesting article on the UK and how they went from “Delta Disaster to looking better than ever” by being wide open in the middle of their Delta surge just like Florida is now …….. but they also got their vaccine rate up to 88% first dose and 73% fully vaccinated in the same time period ….. 

https://www.yahoo.com/now/england-went-delta-disaster-looking-091720666.html

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2 hours ago, ChrisK2793 said:

Here’s an interesting article on the UK and how they went from “Delta Disaster to looking better than ever” by being wide open in the middle of their Delta surge just like Florida is now …….. but they also got their vaccine rate up to 88% first dose and 73% fully vaccinated in the same time period ….. 

https://www.yahoo.com/now/england-went-delta-disaster-looking-091720666.html

Yea, Florida kinda forgot the vaccinated part.

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2 hours ago, alamode123 said:

Yea, Florida kinda forgot the vaccinated part.


Regardless of what you hear on the news ……. Florida isn’t  doing that bad for vaccination rates ….. 98.3% of ages 65+ have received at least one does of a vaccine ….. 62.6% of ages 18 to 64 have also received at least 1 dose ….. according to the Mayo Clinic  ….  See screenshot below 

and here’s the link:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/coronavirus-covid-19/vaccine-tracker

B77BD733-36B2-4931-A987-8B6FEC270C38.jpeg

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14 minutes ago, ChrisK2793 said:


Regardless of what you hear on the news ……. Florida isn’t  doing that bad for vaccination rates ….. 98.3% of ages 65+ have received at least one does of a vaccine ….. 62.6% of ages 18 to 64 have also received at least 1 dose ….. according to the Mayo Clinic  ….  See screenshot below 

and here’s the link:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/coronavirus-covid-19/vaccine-tracker

 

52 percent 18-65 fully vaccinated is still far too low though to say remove all restrictions.

I'm hoping it gets better by my next trip in January.

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21 hours ago, TXcruzer said:

It is a parent's job to make these decisions for their children. 

 

I originally was hesitant to expand on the complexity of the decision I was referring to because I didn't want to get into the "to vaccinate, or not to vaccinate" discussion on the board.

I understand it's my job to make decisions for my children, didn't need it clarified.  I didn't say it wasn't my job, but I will expand on the point I was trying to make.  The vaccine decision for any parent, in my opinion, is a very complicated decision to make.  As a parent, I view my responsibility from the lens of "do no harm" first and foremost.  I am sure there are some that might say that I should put more weight on the well being of others, but I am not ashamed to admit that I will put my child's safety and well being over anyone else, including my own.  I am vaccinated.  I made that choice after weighing all of the factors.  My 12 year old is not, and I have no current plans to have her vaccinated.  The current calculus behind that is related to risk of the vaccine vs the risk of the virus.

I personally believe there is enough uncertainty around the long term effects of the vaccine to not risk it with someone that is unlikely to have an adverse result in contracting the virus.  That could change tomorrow with new information, and I am not telling anyone else what they should think about it, I understand there are other opinions and decisions made based on their calculus.  I am not saying I would never have them get the vaccine, just that currently I don't think it makes sense to risk it.

Given the fact that RCL is willing to take unvaccinated children 11 and younger, I personally believe they should have made it an 18 and up vaccine requirement.  That is my opinion based on all I described about the complexity of the decision.

That's my opinion, obviously they can do whatever they want and they will, and whether or not I can cruise with them or not will not impact my decision to vaccinate my child one bit.

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23 hours ago, Jill said:

Our hospitals filling up have nothing to do with the current law. You have to remember we are the #1 tourist destination worldwide. We were doing absolutely fine with positivity rates less than 3% up until 3 weeks ago. We have THOUSANDS flying into this state everyday for leisure. Of course we’re going to see increases before anyone else. 
 

This virus isn’t going away. The death rate is not corresponding with hospitalizations. The vaccines are generally working in that it’s keeping people out of the hospital and from dying. 
 

Vaccine passports wouldn’t have stopped this IMO. All vaccine passports are good for is increasing the divide in this country. 
 

The blame lies in the messaging. It’s been poor from the get go. Do this, don’t do this. Shame rarely works. Distrust is huge right now. I don’t know the answer but locking us down again isn’t the answer. 

Jill I fill like you have taken me to Church today with all of your post....  I love it.

I agree with what you are saying, cruise lines like the airline indutry should have been exempt from the law in Florida and I do think people should be allowed to make their own decision about the vaccines.  What has taken place in places like NYC and other cities is shameful.  Even here in Chicago although there is no vaccine passport requirement we are now starting to see business require proof of vaccination to enter their establishment and people are using the No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service as their basis for requiring a vaccines.  Trying to force people to take something they are not yet comfortable with will only push them further away. 

I've said this before if the US allowed domestic cruises where the ship doesn't have to visit an international port then I would 100% be in agreement with Ron DeSantis but since cruises (execpt for Alaska) have to visit an international port that is where my issue with Ron DeSantis comes in because we can't force a international country to allow unvaccinated cruise passengers into their country. I do think Florida will have to exempt cruise lines or Royal Caribbean will have to temporarily go with 95% vaccination rate in defiance of the law.

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58 minutes ago, Marlena said:

Anyone get emailed about their cruises going to USVI after end OCT? Seems I've heard of them noticing October cruisers but not after those sailings. Trying to get an idea about our nov sailing.

I've got a cruise in November that hits Puerto Rico,  st. Thomas, st. Croix and st. Kitts. No word yet, but I think it's only a matter of time. 

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On 8/3/2021 at 1:57 PM, LovetoCruise87 said:

I was wondering that myself. Does Royal just bite the bullet and sail at 95% or higher? Seems with them stating that everyone cruising an itinerary to St. Thomas needs to be vaccinated they are heading in that direction. They could decide to not stop at St. Thomas thereby continuing to have ships with a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated. 

Each day brings new problems and new requirements, but we will continue to be flexible with whatever happens with our cruise. 

Perhaps Royal is preparing to go the 95/5 route? I'll be on Freedom of the Seas for the 8/30 sailing and just received an email from Royal titled "Important information needed before you sail" and it was a "Vaccination Status Request". Takes you to a form where you confirm your birthdate and then can voluntarily provide your status:

  1. I am fully vaccinated and am willing to provide proof of vaccination
  2. I am not vaccinated
  3. I prefer not to answer

You have to add ALL the guests on your itinerary and answer. Both answers 2 & 3 place you into the unvaccinated "bucket". This conforms to the FL law, so no harm, no foul - you aren't required to provide proof of vaccination. Royal already has capacity controls in their contract, so they could just "adjust" their formula and if the amount of 2 & 3 answers is over 5%, then they could start cancelling/moving/refunding/etc. - i.e. the Carnival model. My "guess" would be that they look to cancel/move 2 & 3 parties with no children and attempt to "reserve" the 5% for children - the ones that truly can't get vaccinated yet?

Perhaps the above email/request is old news, but my wife and I have been reading and researching for a while and I didn't run across this before, so it seemed like a new thing to me - given Royal's position of having a mix of vaccinated/unvaccinated on-board.

FYI - Wife and I are fully vaccinated (Pfizer-BiotechN), follow mask guidance, and have no issue with providing proof...so this doesn't bother me at all. I've even been lightly planning to get a free PCR test scheduled the Friday before the Monday sailing, even though 4-night itineraries don't require one for fully vaccinated folks...just in case.

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For vaccines, the difference between Florida and NY state is only 6-7% in terms of initiating vaccination. That's why it's particularly troubling for me to read stories or opinions of people from largely blue states pointing smugly at FL and saying essentially that'll never happen here, because... reasons. It's also troubling to see the vax pass developments in NYC. To be clear, I think that's a world apart from cruises as you already have to prove medical fitness and establish that you are who you say you are to travel internationally, but I understand the worry that a level of surveillance like this is creeping into our everyday lives in ways that will be difficult to reverse.

I personally am glad this wave came when it did. It will be hard to justify lockdowns anywhere once Florida and the rest of the South is on the other side of the wave with very few changes to human behavior. Had the wave come in the northeast first and lined up more with some of the other expectations around flu season, I think we could have perpetuated the almost delusional stimulus-response mechanism of masks-peak effect for a bit longer. And of course, all of this is biased by my optimism that the situation in FL is decelerating when that may very well not be true.

All of that to say. there really isn't that much that separates the average Floridian from the average New Yorker. That's part of why all of the ire in the media sent in one direction is gross. There's also no "magic" percentage of vaccination that can predict when we can remove restrictions and get back to normal. We just have no idea what to expect, and would be better served by a big dose of humility.

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