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First, let me say I understand a lot of frustration in and with the cruise industry due to COVID. Its supposed to be a great vacation and customers pay a good price for the experience.  The media likes to dwell on cancelled ports and sick passengers and empty ships sitting at anchor. All the misery and misfortune in the headlines sells. No one wants to go on vacation and be limited to mask wearing, subjected to nasal swabs, flight disruption, port dismissal etc.

On the other hand, trying to take a purely scientific view point ...

Though ships have been called a Petri dish (generally with negative connotations), at the same time they are a somewhat unique controlled population sampling. Here you have literally thousands of people that are vaccinated and following masking protocols etc. Its not perfect but when you look at infection rates, those aboard ship are less than one percent compared to over 30% on land.

To me this is a perfect example of how an experiment works. You have two populations, one with generally well kept protocols and controls, and the other, not so much. The difference in infection rates is dramatic. It just shows vaccines, masking and isolation of known cases works.

Ships have other issues such as limited space for isolation and medical facilities. Their systems are not perfect but the numbers show they do work.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Ditchdoc said:

First, let me say I understand a lot of frustration in and with the cruise industry due to COVID. Its supposed to be a great vacation and customers pay a good price for the experience.  The media likes to dwell on cancelled ports and sick passengers and empty ships sitting at anchor. All the misery and misfortune in the headlines sells. No one wants to go on vacation and be limited to mask wearing, subjected to nasal swabs, flight disruption, port dismissal etc.

On the other hand, trying to take a purely scientific view point ...

Though ships have been called a Petri dish (generally with negative connotations), at the same time they are a somewhat unique controlled population sampling. Here you have literally thousands of people that are vaccinated and following masking protocols etc. Its not perfect but when you look at infection rates, those aboard ship are less than one percent compared to over 30% on land.

To me this is a perfect example of how an experiment works. You have two populations, one with generally well kept protocols and controls, and the other, not so much. The difference in infection rates is dramatic. It just shows vaccines, masking and isolation of known cases works.

Ships have other issues such as limited space for isolation and medical facilities. Their systems are not perfect but the numbers show they do work.

 

 

I hear what you are saying and agree that positivity rates on cruise ships aren't alarming, but we can't make the scientific comparison you suggest because of sampling issues (we didn't randomly assign subjects to each sample, and sample sizes vary, etc.).  I happened to read Virginia stats this morning, and I believe the infection rate among fully vaccinated people was about 1.5%, double that for partially-vaccinated, and 4 times that for unvaccinated.   There are still sampling issues, but these data and those from other states are perhaps more like apple-to-apple comparisons that show the benefit of vaccinations.

Back to cruising, I don't believe it is riskier than land-based vacations, and I believe it is actually safer. I think you brought up a good point.

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The crew is not allowed off of the ship yet they are getting and passing on the virus. Maybe it's time to let them live in the interior guest cabins for a bit. Give them additional space instead of living in such close quarters. Also, this two day test scenario may need to be tightened up. 

We get ours (tests) at our local "doc in the box" emergent care medical facility. While the testing is precise and above board (pun intended) when I received our test results I was shocked. While the document contained all of the requested criteria with the Doctors signature, the document looked like something I could have created on my own computer. Does this happen? There is no uniform form that I know of so what are the personnel really looking at, is it a true test result? That got me to thinking, are people doing this?

I am fully aware that after my negative test the onus is on me to isolate from others and be extra careful so as not to expose myself within the 48hrs before sailing, does everyone do this? We bring food and after I Clorox wash down the hotel room we stay in the room until we leave to check for our ship. My goal is to enjoy my sailing to the best of my ability all while keeping the crew safe. Granted not foolproof but we feel good about being a bit extra by this point, we want to sail.....

And as an aside, I think the above scenarios tightened up should relieve the "stigma" of unvaxed kiddos in my humble and honest opinion they are not the problem. 

And I feel safer on a sailing then at a land based vacation...

 

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It's not the virus itself that has a hold on the psyche of the population because we have lived with disease and viruses our whole lives. It's the over reaction of those in charge of us that has us scared and talking nothing but Covid19 as if it has the death rate of Ebola - it doesn't even come close.

As this is a cruise site, and I'm sure this thread will get locked soon enough, I'll keep the rest of my opinions on those in charge of the Covid response to myself.

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39 minutes ago, Neesa said:

The crew is not allowed off of the ship 

 

??? Is this an RC policy only? 

I have saw photos of crew members from a cruiseline mixing with crew members from other cruiselines onshore!

Crew members in bars, cafes and restaurants with no masks or social distancing.

Crew members out and about exploring ports of call.

Crew members meeting up with family and friends who now stay abroad but are close enough to visit ports when ships dock.

Crew are not under lock and key! As mentioned on another thread they DO NOT need to book excursions to go ashore! 

Oh and lets not forget the corridor parties 

 

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@Ray I'm just off the Odyssey and Oasis and the crew members we spoke to were not allowed off the ship for months. This was our experience and we sailed the  two ships  maybe it was just those ships, thanks for being so kind and correcting me. Maybe it is just RC ships I've sailed on. 

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45 minutes ago, Neesa said:

@Ray I'm just off the Odyssey and Oasis and the crew members we spoke to were not allowed off the ship for months. This was our experience and we sailed the  two ships  maybe it was just those ships, thanks for being so kind and correcting me. Maybe it is just RC ships I've sailed on. 

We sailed serenade back in August to Alaska and can confirm they had not been let off the ship… one of the things they told us they missed the most was being able to get a fresh cooked meal that was not onboard the ship. We felt awful for them so at the port stops, we brought a special few crew members a hot meal to go from wherever we ate right before re-boarding. They were stunned and appreciative!  

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34 minutes ago, barjpoe said:

I know this was asked & answered a while back ; since the most/all of the crew can't get off. What else would they like from the 'outside world'?

Based on a tip from a crew member on the Jewel, I brought Filipino canned goods and snacks for the Filipino crew I’d meet on the Brilliance. They were so happy about it.  

My stateroom cabinet looked like a pantry for a while ha ha

8EE4ABD5-B9C1-4DF7-853F-0FC1754C63B9.thumb.jpeg.586ab61f1c9bf4d6b9c8e92c3a8bcc91.jpeg

 

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22 minutes ago, PG Cruiser said:

Based on a tip from a crew member on the Jewel, I brought Filipino canned goods and snacks for the Filipino crew I’d meet on the Brilliance. They were so happy about it.  

My stateroom cabinet looked like a pantry for a while ha ha

8EE4ABD5-B9C1-4DF7-853F-0FC1754C63B9.thumb.jpeg.586ab61f1c9bf4d6b9c8e92c3a8bcc91.jpeg

 

If you can send me an updated list, we board the Brilliance on the 17th Jan as we usually try to bring various extras for the crew. Will work of the pic you posted and see what we can find, but open to bring what ever we can squeeze in our bags, food, toiletries, etc. The crew on the Brilliance has always been good to us😃 thanks

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4 hours ago, VACruiser said:

It's not the virus itself that has a hold on the psyche of the population because we have lived with disease and viruses our whole lives. It's the over reaction of those in charge of us that has us scared and talking nothing but Covid19 as if it has the death rate of Ebola - it doesn't even come close.

As this is a cruise site, and I'm sure this thread will get locked soon enough, I'll keep the rest of my opinions on those in charge of the Covid response to myself.

👏👏👏👏

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6 hours ago, Cruiser4Life said:

We sailed serenade back in August to Alaska and can confirm they had not been let off the ship… one of the things they told us they missed the most was being able to get a fresh cooked meal that was not onboard the ship. We felt awful for them so at the port stops, we brought a special few crew members a hot meal to go from wherever we ate right before re-boarding. They were stunned and appreciative!  

You were able to bring cooked food back onboard?!?!? We were not allowed to do that on the Anthem 12/31 sailing 😞

The Anthem crew I spoke with reported the same thing locked on the ship since October. I asked my stateroom attendant if I can get him anything and after refusing 5xs, he said socks and chocolate. I gifted him with both and additional tip, the crew is not allowed to hangout with each other. So, they basically are working 10 hrs a day, eat then go to their cabin - rough life. On my sailing I was told two cabins/4 people on my deck confirmed COVID were quarantined day 3 of 9 day cruise.

 

 

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2 hours ago, LBTravels said:

You were able to bring cooked food back onboard?!?!? We were not allowed to do that on the Anthem 12/31 sailing 😞

The Anthem crew I spoke with reported the same thing locked on the ship since October. I asked my stateroom attendant if I can get him anything and after refusing 5xs, he said socks and chocolate. I gifted him with both and additional tip, the crew is not allowed to hangout with each other. So, they basically are working 10 hrs a day, eat then go to their cabin - rough life. On my sailing I was told two cabins/4 people on my deck confirmed COVID were quarantined day 3 of 9 day cruise.

 

 

We put it our backpacks and was only questioned one time after the security scanner… said it was our leftovers and they let it through. 😬 Don’t know if they were supposed to….

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18 hours ago, dcr50usa said:

If you can send me an updated list, we board the Brilliance on the 17th Jan as we usually try to bring various extras for the crew. Will work of the pic you posted and see what we can find, but open to bring what ever we can squeeze in our bags, food, toiletries, etc. The crew on the Brilliance has always been good to us😃 thanks

Do you have access to an Asian store?  Do you only want to bring food items from the Philippines?  I do so because I'm Filipino myself.

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The infection rates are measured differently on land and on a ship.

On a ship, it's generally the total population that is calculated, hence the 1%. On land, it's the percentage TESTED, not the total population.

If you're going with the scientific experiment theme, it's best to be accurate and compare apples to apples. On a percent of the entire population, ships  and on land, the popular data isn't data isn't really what it seems.

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20 minutes ago, alamode123 said:

The infection rates are measured differently on land and on a ship.

On a ship, it's generally the total population that is calculated, hence the 1%. On land, it's the percentage TESTED, not the total population.

If you're going with the scientific experiment theme, it's best to be accurate and compare apples to apples. On a percent of the entire population, ships  and on land, the popular data isn't data isn't really what it seems.

Could you imagine if everyone on land got tested on the same day?  Then ships would really be proven safe.  

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4 hours ago, alamode123 said:

The infection rates are measured differently on land and on a ship.

On a ship, it's generally the total population that is calculated, hence the 1%. On land, it's the percentage TESTED, not the total population.

If you're going with the scientific experiment theme, it's best to be accurate and compare apples to apples. On a percent of the entire population, ships  and on land, the popular data isn't data isn't really what it seems.

This is a great point as infection rate is calculated by the tested population. I would also add that many people and the media in general are getting too wrapped up in this number. What should really be concerning is the hospitalization and or ventilation rate. Basically the % of covid patients that require either hospitalization or ventilation.  This rate is very important as it tells you how many covid positive patients actually require further medical intervention. I will shout this out from the mountain tops as long as I can. The vaccines were never meant to prevent mild to asymptomatic covid-19. They were all developed to prevent severe to life threatening infection which it has done very successfully.  Out of all the covid cases on board all the ships regardless of cruise lines, I personally have not heard of any cases that required hospitalization or ventilation. Which means the vaccines are working as the vast majority of passengers are vaccinated. Even if there were cases of hospitalization or ventilation, I would think that those rates are lower compared to land as the vaccination rates are lower on land than on a cruise. 

 

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9 hours ago, PG Cruiser said:

Do you have access to an Asian store?  Do you only want to bring food items from the Philippines?  I do so because I'm Filipino myself.

You just made my day as I have never had the chance to get to that part of the world. I was traveling today but saw the post this morning while driving. I am laying over to visit with some friends and get my tests on sat before departing to Tampa (8hr drive more or less). I have found a store called Asian Super Market, 5022 Vaughn Rd, Montgomery, AL 36116. It will open at 1100 CST on the 11th. I thought I would go armed with your pic and talk with the staff for recommendations, along with any list you send. Also, in Tampa, we will be staying out near the airport at our regular hotel and getting there by lunchtime the 16th. My route will be I-10 E to I-75 S, if you happen to have a recommendation of a good place to shop on the way or in Tampa. Thanks for your help and as always I also try to bring a few Texas magnets for the walls and I still may have a license plate, but last I heard that item has slowed down before the pandemic started.....

FYI since you have been on the Mariner & Freedom, we met 3 fine folks from the islands working at Boleros, Palo, JR & Emerson. We have not seen them in a few years, the last was in 2014 on the Freedom we caught up with JR working the sky bar and he allowed that Palo had moved on to an Oasis Class ship and he wasn't sure where Emerson was. The good news was that on our last trip on the Brilliance (Nov 2019) we ran into some crewmembers that live near these gentleman and were able to allow that they & families were doing fine and they were still working with RCL

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14 hours ago, dcr50usa said:

I have found a store called Asian Super Market, 5022 Vaughn Rd, Montgomery, AL 36116. It will open at 1100 CST on the 11th. I thought I would go armed with your pic and talk with the staff for recommendations, along with any list you send.

Here's the list:

Chippy Corn Chips
Lucky Me Pancit Canton (Original, Calamansi, ChiliMansi, Spicy)*
Boy Bawang Chichacorn (Garlic flavor)
Hany Milk Chocolate (may also get Choc-Nut)*
Ligo Sardines Spicy (Red)*
Ligo Sardines Regular (Green)*
Century Milkfish Spanish Style
SkyFlakes Cracker
Salted Eggs (individually wrapped)

* - The crew member I spoked with said these items were "gold" to Filipino crew.

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18 hours ago, leesam82 said:

 Even if there were cases of hospitalization or ventilation, I would think that those rates are lower compared to land as the vaccination rates are lower on land than on a cruise. 

 

My point was you can't scientifically know one way or the other which is safer, because you can't get similar data to compare.

Feeling safer, guessing it would be safer etc. isn't scientific.

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