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Thousands reject CDC advice, board cruise ships for vacations


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https://www.clickorlando.com/news/local/2021/12/31/thousands-reject-cdc-advice-board-cruise-ships-for-vacations-amid-rise-in-covid-cases/

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Cruising into the new year, thousands of passengers are rejecting the CDC’s advice not to sail as COVID-19 cases reach record numbers. The CDC issued this guidance despite every passenger 12 and older being required to be vaccinated.

“We don’t like to see even one case, but our experience is a fraction of the comparable statistics of virtually any other comparable location or industry,” Royal Caribbean Chairman Richard Fain wrote in a statement Thursday.

Royal Caribbean said since restarting in the summer, 1,700 of its 1.1 million guests have tested positive with 41 of those passengers going to the hospital and none of those 41 with the new variant.

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2 hours ago, smokeybandit said:

41 out of 1.1 million going to the hospital.

 

I wonder what the pre-covid hospitalization for any cause rate was. Probably not much different than that.

1700 /1.1 Million = 0.15% positive (excellent by any standard), 41/ 1.1 million = 0.004%  cruisers went to hospital. 41/1700 = 2.4% of positive people needing hospitalization

 

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1 hour ago, MarkusB said:

On the Allure at the moment, all protocols in place. We feel safe and the crew goes above and beyond. So we just booked a New England Cruise the Fall 2022. 

Ooooooh, I'm on Voyager Sept 25.  If you're on that one, be sure to find the Roll Call that I created and join in! And if it's not that one, feel free to create your own.

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6 hours ago, twangster said:

https://www.clickorlando.com/news/local/2021/12/31/thousands-reject-cdc-advice-board-cruise-ships-for-vacations-amid-rise-in-covid-cases/

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Cruising into the new year, thousands of passengers are rejecting the CDC’s advice not to sail as COVID-19 cases reach record numbers. The CDC issued this guidance despite every passenger 12 and older being required to be vaccinated.

“We don’t like to see even one case, but our experience is a fraction of the comparable statistics of virtually any other comparable location or industry,” Royal Caribbean Chairman Richard Fain wrote in a statement Thursday.

Royal Caribbean said since restarting in the summer, 1,700 of its 1.1 million guests have tested positive with 41 of those passengers going to the hospital and none of those 41 with the new variant.

I think it’s better if we all stop clicking and reading these stupid news articles.  Stop giving these news outlets clicks.  Push these stupid news articles ti the bottom of news feeds.  

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I didn't read this as an anti-cruising news report.  The opposite really.  Thousands are ignoring the CDC.  That's a good thing.  

Most Florida TV media is pro-cruising because of the jobs impact.  There is a rag in Miami that has an anti-cruise thing going on but the news media in Orlando tend to be celebratory when something goes the industry way.  When the state effectively won their case against the CDC they were upbeat and positive about it.  

If they wanted to paint the cruise industry in a negative light they would not have quoted Fain proving how well Royal is doing.  

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There's obviously something going on with that CDC that's NOT science when it comes to cruising.  It's just plain out 'negative bias' and anyone can see it when all other modes of travel are compared to cruising.  There should be an accounting when all this over and assessment as to just what has done the most damage [the Virus or...media...or?...CDC?].

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10 hours ago, MaryCS62 said:

1700 /1.1 Million = 0.15% positive (excellent by any standard), 41/ 1.1 million = 0.004%  cruisers went to hospital. 41/1700 = 2.4% of positive people needing hospitalization

 

You can't use any of these figures without realizing that this virus is infecting vastly more people at the same time.  So however acceptable you feel these figures are, when you realize these percentages apply to tens or hundreds of millions of people is when you realize the scope of the problem and the stress this puts on whatever medical resources are available anywhere in the world.  It also does not factor in the number of oeople suffering or dying while ignoring other issues out of fear, issues not taken care of do to lack of resources and the unpredictablity of the short or long term consequences of COVID.  It's so much more complicated then simple percentages.

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5 hours ago, LinRon2 said:

There's obviously something going on with that CDC that's NOT science when it comes to cruising.  It's just plain out 'negative bias' and anyone can see it when all other modes of travel are compared to cruising.  There should be an accounting when all this over and assessment as to just what has done the most damage [the Virus or...media...or?...CDC?].

Or the CDC is worried about a worst case scenario, that probably won't happen, but could.  They have to act proactively, not reactively.  I think that the warning will itself help by lowering capacities, which I think it is fairly clear were increased too fast, and get the cruise lines to start taking their own protocols more seriously, since I don't think they were and were becoming more complacent.  Flame me if you want, but at least consider how such a warning could prevent things escalating to a shutdown or effective shutdown due to lack of ports.

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I personally think the cruise lines should be testing everyone at the port before allowing them to board, like they did in Europe in the summer, rather than just unvaxxed kids. That 2-3 day window which currently exists between testing and boarding is, in my opinion, an open invitation for the virus to go cruising and port testing could help prevent this. Yes, it would be a bit of a logistical nightmare to organise as passenger loads increase but surely it's got to be better than dealing with outbreaks on board and all of the ensuing negative media hysteria and passenger disappointment and anger.

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2 hours ago, FionaMG said:

I personally think the cruise lines should be testing everyone at the port before allowing them to board, like they did in Europe in the summer, rather than just unvaxxed kids. That 2-3 day window which currently exists between testing and boarding is, in my opinion, an open invitation for the virus to go cruising and port testing could help prevent this. Yes, it would be a bit of a logistical nightmare to organise as passenger loads increase but surely it's got to be better than dealing with outbreaks on board and all of the ensuing negative media hysteria and passenger disappointment and anger.

I personally think the world is overreacting to Omicron and pier testing of every individual would not stop Omicron from getting on board.

As much as I loathe the CDC the protocols are working and have been working very nicely on ships.  Not even the CDC recommends pier testing everyone.  

The goal has never been zero cases on ships.  That is an impossible target.

Positivity rates on ships are a fraction of what they are on land right now.  That's because the existing protocols work.  

  

 

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If CDC has a lockdown of the cruiseindusty in mind again I hope they will recommend a boostershot first for all passengers onboard before they lock it down to see if that would get the numbers down. One could argue at this point in time that if your second shot happend more than 4 months ago its a false feeling of protections against omicron... If RC really wan't the numbers to go down they should ask for all adults to get a boostershot before sailing. There will always be breakthough infections no matter how many jabs they give us. Also the crew should get the booster ASAP IMHO. 

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7 minutes ago, Jdf said:

If CDC has a lockdown of the cruiseindusty in mind again I hope they will recommend a boostershot first for all passengers onboard before they lock it down to see if that would get the numbers down. One could argue at this point in time that if your second shot happend more than 4 months ago its a false feeling of protections against omicron... If RC really wan't the numbers to go down they should ask for all adults to get a boostershot before sailing. There will always be breakthough infections no matter how many jabs they give us. Also the crew should get the booster ASAP IMHO. 

Boosters are not currently recommended for children by the FDA or CDC in the United States.  

Requiring boosters would ban children which is exactly what Royal has not done, on purpose.   Royal is well aware they are a family brand and every action they have taken since the restart began includes the ability for children to sail.  

We are weeks away from the estimated peak of Omicron.  By and large it isn't broken, protocols are working.  Cruise ships remain to be much safer than what's occurring in the United States everywhere on land.   

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17 minutes ago, Jdf said:

If CDC has a lockdown of the cruiseindusty in mind again I hope they will recommend a boostershot first for all passengers onboard before they lock it down to see if that would get the numbers down. One could argue at this point in time that if your second shot happend more than 4 months ago its a false feeling of protections against omicron... If RC really wan't the numbers to go down they should ask for all adults to get a boostershot before sailing. There will always be breakthough infections no matter how many jabs they give us. Also the crew should get the booster ASAP IMHO. 


Get the numbers down?  The positivity rate on ships is about 1% ……. Have you not seen the positivity rate on land??????  A 1% positivity rate is beyond incredibly low in comparison.  On land 5% positivity and below is considered to be low spread / low risk.

 

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All Omicron cases on ships are reportedly asymptomatic or mild symptoms.  A sore throat for example.   

No hospitalizations have been reported from a ship case of Omicron.

If anything needs to change, governments around the world need to view a positive Omicron case very differently than other variants.  

There may be more variants in our future.  Communities and societies around the world need to do better understanding when to freak out and when to stay the course.  

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34 minutes ago, ChrisK2793 said:

On land 5% positivity and below is considered to be low spread / low risk.

This is a baseline for overall test positivity rate, not infections over a period of time. Even if 1% of the United States became infected each couple of days (length of a cruise) then we would have an issue on our hands. You have to look at these metrics from a different perspective.  The main concern as others have pointed out are the limited resources for handling even 1% infection rate onboard (med staff, isolation rooms, administrative personnel), plus the logistics of clearing these people to go home once ashore.

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I will go slightly off topic.  We are sailing from canaveral today.  We stayed at the swan at Disney last night.  We used Disney transport to explore resorts.   We only saw 2 groups not wearing masks.  Signs all over said masks mandatory.   A lot has been written about cruising being safer than Disney.  I agree because we don’t know vaccine status of those at Disney but I was pleasantly surprised at the mask compliance.  

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27 minutes ago, Fairlynew said:

we don’t know vaccine status of those at Disney but I was pleasantly surprised at the mask compliance.  

You also have no idea if anyone's positive or not since Disney requires no testing either. To me, that's more alarming than someone's vaccination status these days.

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9 hours ago, twangster said:

I personally think the world is overreacting to Omicron and pier testing of every individual would not stop Omicron from getting on board.

As much as I loathe the CDC the protocols are working and have been working very nicely on ships.  Not even the CDC recommends pier testing everyone.  

The goal has never been zero cases on ships.  That is an impossible target.

Positivity rates on ships are a fraction of what they are on land right now.  That's because the existing protocols work.  

  

 

I do actually completely agree with you. Pier testing in Europe was required by the various European governments who are largely running around in all directions like scalded cats instead of getting their act together and living up to the name European Union. 

The problem is, we here on this board are the converted. For as long as the general and unsuspecting public pays attention to the media hysteria, keeping onboard cases as low as possible would surely help.

We just had an incident here in Lisbon with the Aida Nova and while I, as a cruise aficionado, took away from it that the protocols had worked and that everything was actually very well organised (the actual words of a passenger interviewed on the dockside), all most viewers would have heard were the words "Dozens of people aboard giant cruise ship held due to covid outbreak", (newsreader's stress). 😞 

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17 minutes ago, FionaMG said:

I do actually completely agree with you. Pier testing in Europe was required by the various European governments who are largely running around in all directions like scalded cats instead of getting their act together and living up to the name European Union. 

The problem is, we here on this board are the converted. For as long as the general and unsuspecting public pays attention to the media hysteria, keeping onboard cases as low as possible would surely help.

We just had an incident here in Lisbon with the Aida Nova and while I, as a cruise aficionado, took away from it that the protocols had worked and that everything was actually very well organised (the actual words of a passenger interviewed on the dockside), all most viewers would have heard were the words "Dozens of people aboard giant cruise ship held due to covid outbreak", (newsreader's stress). 😞 

I went on an MSC cruise with pier testing.  It worked with the 800 guests sailing but it took a full day to test and board those 800 guests.  It would have taken two full days to board the ship with 3,000 sailing.  

It doesn't scale to Oasis class at 50% capacity.  

MSC stopped doing it within 3 weeks of my cruise.  

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6 minutes ago, twangster said:

I went on an MSC cruise with pier testing.  It worked with the 800 guests sailing but it took a full day to test and board those 800 guests.  It would have taken two full days to board the ship with 3,000 sailing.  

It doesn't scale to Oasis class at 50% capacity.  

MSC stopped doing it within 3 weeks of my cruise.  


How is MSC?  We kind of want to try their new ship, the Seashore, and stay in the Yacht Club since the pricing is so good ….. and they status match with Royal which makes it even more enticing.

 

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4 hours ago, BrianB said:

I see that cruise 'news' website has hijacked my Anthem New Year's Eve video to advance their ongoing anti-cruise agenda.

Don't they need your permission to use your content?

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37 minutes ago, ChrisK2793 said:


How is MSC?  We kind of want to try their new ship, the Seashore, and stay in the Yacht Club since the pricing is so good ….. and they status match with Royal which makes it even more enticing.

 

In terms of health protocols they are probably the closest to Royal.

Boarding on that cruise, which was their second in the US in the restart was tolerable.  So happy to sail anything back then.   On another occasion in October the boarding was a disaster.  Three hours standing in the terminal with no social distancing and long, packed lines.  That was before Omi. Finally got on board right when the buffet closed.  There was no food, then muster time.  Should have packed a lunch for the terminal.  

It was cheap.  It had that going for it.  

On board it was a cruise.  I can see why people say go with YC or don't go.  That's not entirely fair, if you buy their most expensive non-YC fares you can use their version of My Time dining.  Anything below that is fixed time and you have zero choice on dining and seating.  Asking for a change is like offending the entire dining room staff.

I never could get them to give me my points for that first cruise.  They insist I didn't cruise.  Thankfully I had that second cruise that reset my status match another 3 years.

I had Seashore booked and another.  Their customer service is terrible.  After hours on the phone the call drops, several attempts in a row.  They just don't care.  My travel agent won't book them anymore, too many issues and they are refusing to issue refunds they said they will, hints at issues with commissions.  I booked the last two direct and found that out myself.  My credit card company has awarded me one dispute just last week, the second is still pending.  Should have raised a flag when my agency wouldn't book them.  Lesson learned.  

On board the crew was fine.  If you are friendly with the crew and drop a buck with a drink order they are your friends, like any cruise line.  Internet is one device only.  Once you log in with a device your internet plan is tied to that specific device.  Internet is faster than Royal by a small margin though.

Lots of people in FB groups had new cabins at the last minute.  Like a lot of people.  Didn't happen to me though.  Folks were not happy.

They had some really cheap cruises this past summer.  For $149 inc. tax what can go wrong?  Give it a try.   Just keep telling yourself... I only paid $149, I only paid $149.  I didn't have bad cruises, but coming back one time we sailed past Allure and I knew where my heart belonged.  That's why I cancelled one of them and at the time Allure was pretty cheap in October. 

Boarding Allure was like coming home.  Boarding MSC was like moving in with the ex-inlaws for a week, not dangerous to my life but definitely not like home.   

There's no place like home.  

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18 minutes ago, twangster said:

In terms of health protocols they are probably the closest to Royal.

Boarding on that cruise, which was their second in the US in the restart was tolerable.  So happy to sail anything back then.   On another occasion in October the boarding was a disaster.  Three hours standing in the terminal with no social distancing and long, packed lines.  That was before Omi. Finally got on board right when the buffet closed.  There was no food, then muster time.  Should have packed a lunch for the terminal.  

It was cheap.  It had that going for it.  

On board it was a cruise.  I can see why people say go with YC or don't go.  That's not entirely fair, if you buy their most expensive non-YC fares you can use their version of My Time dining.  Anything below that is fixed time and you have zero choice on dining and seating.  Asking for a change is like offending the entire dining room staff.

I never could get them to give me my points for that first cruise.  They insist I didn't cruise.  Thankfully I had that second cruise that reset my status match another 3 years.

I had Seashore booked and another.  Their customer service is terrible.  After hours on the phone the call drops, several attempts in a row.  They just don't care.  My travel agent won't book them anymore, too many issues and they are refusing to issue refunds they said they will, hints at issues with commissions.  I booked the last two direct and found that out myself.  My credit card company has awarded me one dispute just last week, the second is still pending.  Should have raised a flag when my agency wouldn't book them.  Lesson learned.  

On board the crew was fine.  If you are friendly with the crew and drop a buck with a drink order they are your friends, like any cruise line.  Internet is one device only.  Once you log in with a device your internet plan is tied to that specific device.  Internet is faster than Royal by a small margin though.

Lots of people in FB groups had new cabins at the last minute.  Like a lot of people.  Didn't happen to me though.  Folks were not happy.

They had some really cheap cruises this past summer.  For $149 inc. tax what can go wrong?  Give it a try.   Just keep telling yourself... I only paid $149, I only paid $149.  I didn't have bad cruises, but coming back one time we sailed past Allure and I knew where my heart belonged.  That's why I cancelled one of them and at the time Allure was pretty cheap in October. 

Boarding Allure was like coming home.  Boarding MSC was like moving in with the ex-inlaws for a week, not dangerous to my life but definitely not like home.   

There's no place like home.  


Thank you …… sounds like we need to just stick with Royal and maybe try MSC in a couple years if they finally get their act together.

 

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9 minutes ago, ChrisK2793 said:


Thank you …… sounds like we need to just stick with Royal and maybe try MSC in a couple years if they finally get their act together.

 

If you can find a cheap cruise there is only one way to find out if there is green grass over there.  Go for it.  I'm not you, your not me.  That's okay, different is good.

I didn't have a bad cruise, likely because of the very low price I paid.  YMMV.

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1 hour ago, ChrisK2793 said:


Thank you …… sounds like we need to just stick with Royal and maybe try MSC in a couple years if they finally get their act together.

 

We tried MSC YC back in the summer of 2018. One and done for us. The YC pool deck was the one and only thing that topped Royal. YC restaurant was no CK, not even close. Entertainment was awful compared to Royal. It was still a decent cruise but I would not go again.

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Current News Article

Single-layer cloth masks may not provide adequate protection against the very infectious omicron variant of COVID-19, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report.

Many infectious disease experts noted people prefer cloth masks because they are more comfortable and fashionable to wear, but these masks can only block larger droplets of COVID-19, not smaller aerosols or particles that can also carry the virus.

The Mayo Clinic is now requiring all patients and visitors to wear surgical masks, N95 or KN95 masks, so if anyone wears a single-layer, homemade cloth mask or bandanna, they will be given a medical-grade one to wear over it, the report said.

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8 minutes ago, MickeyDog said:

Current News Article

Single-layer cloth masks may not provide adequate protection against the very infectious omicron variant of COVID-19, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report.

Many infectious disease experts noted people prefer cloth masks because they are more comfortable and fashionable to wear, but these masks can only block larger droplets of COVID-19, not smaller aerosols or particles that can also carry the virus.

The Mayo Clinic is now requiring all patients and visitors to wear surgical masks, N95 or KN95 masks, so if anyone wears a single-layer, homemade cloth mask or bandanna, they will be given a medical-grade one to wear over it, the report said.

Hilarious

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6 hours ago, twangster said:

That's not true.  Posting content somewhere does relinquish ownership of that content.  

No one is taking ownership of the content, it's just being redistributed in the same manner as the original.  So long as the person isn't trying to take credit for the video or picture.  Once it's in the public domain, you can't then claim it's private.  It's either public or private.  Not Public only in the public forums that I decide.  Certainly there's legal nuance but that's generally the idea.

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15 minutes ago, SummerRose said:

No one is taking ownership of the content, it's just being redistributed in the same manner as the original.  So long as the person isn't trying to take credit for the video or picture.  Once it's in the public domain, you can't then claim it's private.  It's either public or private.  Not Public only in the public forums that I decide.  Certainly there's legal nuance but that's generally the idea.

Social media is not the public domain.  They can link to the content, but they can't download and repost it anywhere else without permission.

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