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Cancellation Call: Religious Exemption Offered


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On 6/28/2022 at 5:49 PM, AspiringCruisePlanner said:

I'll add a data point here.

Requested a vaccine exemption for religious reasons for my sister aboard Allure on July 31.  Request was denied today.

When did you request it? I requested on March 8 for July 23 Allure and haven’t heard anything.. 

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On 7/1/2022 at 2:03 PM, OliviaP22 said:

Want to add some positivity. I applied for religious exemption on 6/19 for a cruise on 7/8 and IT GOT APPROVED TODAY! I submitted through [email protected]rccl.com with everything requested. I called them directly today for an update since we are 7 days out and you can get right through (866) 592-7225 she told me with the holiday weekend I probably wouldn’t hear back until next week and couldn’t guarantee a day to receive a result. Got an email 4 hours later with approval!

C0C82DCC-DBE0-42F9-B093-7EAA6513007D.jpeg

What did you say on your religious exemption?

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On 7/1/2022 at 2:03 PM, OliviaP22 said:

Want to add some positivity. I applied for religious exemption on 6/19 for a cruise on 7/8 and IT GOT APPROVED TODAY! I submitted through [email protected]rccl.com with everything requested. I called them directly today for an update since we are 7 days out and you can get right through (866) 592-7225 she told me with the holiday weekend I probably wouldn’t hear back until next week and couldn’t guarantee a day to receive a result. Got an email 4 hours later with approval!

C0C82DCC-DBE0-42F9-B093-7EAA6513007D.jpeg

Can you please share what you said in your text?  

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On 6/28/2022 at 4:49 PM, AspiringCruisePlanner said:

I'll add a data point here.

Requested a vaccine exemption for religious reasons for my sister aboard Allure on July 31.  Request was denied today.

I haven't been checking this thread since I'm still waiting on mine (I'll update down below), but I wanted to say that this stinks and I'm sorry. 😞

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Update on mine, still no update, lol. I submitted May 9th for an August 14 cruise and a September 18 cruise. I went back and resubmitted the Sept 18 cruise on a different email because I wasn't sure if they would accept both on one email. I waited about...5 weeks or so since the automated response said it would take about 15 days for me to hear back, and then I called the direct line to talk to someone rather than having to get transferred around from the general line. They told me there was no update and that it could be as soon as two weeks before my cruise before I heard anything. My son was supposed to go to church camp the week before the cruise, so I had to call the camp and change that because I knew there would be no way to get a test three days prior if he was a few hours away in the woods. 🙂  The camp changed it around without a problem, so that was great. 

I'll give you the text I used to explain my exemption, but since I haven't been approved I have no idea if it'll be helpful or not. I'll update here when I hear back from them. I'll be calling August 1st if I haven't gotten anything back by then. 

"Taking a covid-19 vaccine violates my conscience and religious beliefs for the following two reasons. First, each of the manufactures of the COVID-19 vaccines currently available in my country were developed, confirmed and/or tested their vaccines using fetal cell lines originating from electively terminated fetuses. I learned of this when I was first offered a COVID-19 vaccine. My religious beliefs require that I respect all human life, including fetal life, and not knowingly benefit from harm to fetal life regardless of when that life was taken. I am aware that other vaccines and medications may use similar fetal cells in their development and to the extent that I am aware of such use, I avoid those medications. Second, knowingly introducing substances that may have unknown consequences into my body violates my fundamental belief that my body is a gift from God. My beliefs instruct me to examine for myself the things that I put in my body and judge them wisely because I will be judged by God for my choices. I cannot violate my religious beliefs even if it might be of medical or financial benefit to me. As such, I cannot, in good conscience and informed by my religious beliefs, take any COVID-19 vaccine at this time."

Hopefully that helps. It can feel very weird to request something like this, definitely not something I ever thought I'd have to do, but it is what it is, so just explain it as best you can.

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5 hours ago, Bowen said:

Update on mine, still no update, lol. I submitted May 9th for an August 14 cruise and a September 18 cruise. I went back and resubmitted the Sept 18 cruise on a different email because I wasn't sure if they would accept both on one email. I waited about...5 weeks or so since the automated response said it would take about 15 days for me to hear back, and then I called the direct line to talk to someone rather than having to get transferred around from the general line. They told me there was no update and that it could be as soon as two weeks before my cruise before I heard anything. My son was supposed to go to church camp the week before the cruise, so I had to call the camp and change that because I knew there would be no way to get a test three days prior if he was a few hours away in the woods. 🙂  The camp changed it around without a problem, so that was great. 

I'll give you the text I used to explain my exemption, but since I haven't been approved I have no idea if it'll be helpful or not. I'll update here when I hear back from them. I'll be calling August 1st if I haven't gotten anything back by then. 

"Taking a covid-19 vaccine violates my conscience and religious beliefs for the following two reasons. First, each of the manufactures of the COVID-19 vaccines currently available in my country were developed, confirmed and/or tested their vaccines using fetal cell lines originating from electively terminated fetuses. I learned of this when I was first offered a COVID-19 vaccine. My religious beliefs require that I respect all human life, including fetal life, and not knowingly benefit from harm to fetal life regardless of when that life was taken. I am aware that other vaccines and medications may use similar fetal cells in their development and to the extent that I am aware of such use, I avoid those medications. Second, knowingly introducing substances that may have unknown consequences into my body violates my fundamental belief that my body is a gift from God. My beliefs instruct me to examine for myself the things that I put in my body and judge them wisely because I will be judged by God for my choices. I cannot violate my religious beliefs even if it might be of medical or financial benefit to me. As such, I cannot, in good conscience and informed by my religious beliefs, take any COVID-19 vaccine at this time."

Hopefully that helps. It can feel very weird to request something like this, definitely not something I ever thought I'd have to do, but it is what it is, so just explain it as best you can.

It's hard to tell whether these denials are due to the reasoning for the exemption or the pure fact of operational capacity with unvaccinated bodies.  I think the latter, but in any case I think the message as you have it there would qualify for meeting their criteria.  Well put.

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40 minutes ago, AspiringCruisePlanner said:

It's hard to tell whether these denials are due to the reasoning for the exemption or the pure fact of operational capacity with unvaccinated bodies.  I think the latter, but in any case I think the message as you have it there would qualify for meeting their criteria.  Well put.

I definitely think it's the latter and would have zero animosity for RC filling their spots with vaccinated over unvaccinated, it's easier for them and they are running a business. I'm glad they're giving unvaccinated an opportunity to cruise, even if we have to do some extra stuff. I feel really bad for the cruise industry, it upsets me that they're being subjected to (what I view as) the abuse of the CDC. I think it's incredibly unfair and it stinks of unelected officials trying to stay relevant. Whatever happens with these two cruises, I wish RC all the best and will go back to them whenever they drop the mandates, but I'll definitely be throwing my cruise dollars at whichever line drops them first. 🙂

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49 minutes ago, Bowen said:

I definitely think it's the latter and would have zero animosity for RC filling their spots with vaccinated over unvaccinated, it's easier for them and they are running a business. I'm glad they're giving unvaccinated an opportunity to cruise, even if we have to do some extra stuff. I feel really bad for the cruise industry, it upsets me that they're being subjected to (what I view as) the abuse of the CDC. I think it's incredibly unfair and it stinks of unelected officials trying to stay relevant. Whatever happens with these two cruises, I wish RC all the best and will go back to them whenever they drop the mandates, but I'll definitely be throwing my cruise dollars at whichever line drops them first. 🙂

Thanks for posting your exemption request. Very well written and thoughtfully said.  And I have the same feelings about RC and wishing them luck. But, like you, I'll be jumping ship to the first cruise line that drops the mandate. 

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26 minutes ago, fireclan said:

Thanks for posting your exemption request. Very well written and thoughtfully said.  And I have the same feelings about RC and wishing them luck. But, like you, I'll be jumping ship to the first cruise line that drops the mandate. 

They will all drop the mandates at the same time

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm waiting to see if mine went through, but honestly I don't have a lot of hope. I'll happily share what I wrote and where I wrote, but don't get your hopes up. 🙂 I will let you know when and if mine comes through. We're just a little over two weeks out now so I hope to know something for sure one way or another this coming weekend.

You'll need to write to [email protected]rccl.com 

Provide your name, sailing number, date, contact information. You'll also need to supply a specific exemption request, so basically an explanation of why taking the COVID vaccine violates your religious beliefs. Here's what I wrote:

"Taking a covid-19 vaccine violates my conscience and religious beliefs for the following two reasons. First, each of the manufactures of the COVID-19 vaccines currently available in my country were developed, confirmed and/or tested their vaccines using fetal cell lines originating from electively terminated fetuses. I learned of this when I was first offered a COVID-19 vaccine. My religious beliefs require that I respect all human life, including fetal life, and not knowingly benefit from harm to fetal life regardless of when that life was taken. I am aware that other vaccines and medications may use similar fetal cells in their development and to the extent that I am aware of such use, I avoid those medications. Second, knowingly introducing substances that may have unknown consequences into my body violates my fundamental belief that my body is a gift from God. My beliefs instruct me to examine for myself the things that I put in my body and judge them wisely because I will be judged by God for my choices. I cannot violate my religious beliefs even if it might be of medical or financial benefit to me. As such, I cannot, in good conscience and informed by my religious beliefs, take any COVID-19 vaccine at this time."

I would recommend calling the access department after you submit it to check in periodically. They can let you know up to two weeks out from your cruise. Their number is 866-592-7225

Good luck!

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3 hours ago, CharmMicah68 said:

If you don't mind, I'm going to share that with a few friends with the same issue.

Hopefully your thought out, biblically accurate, factual and well written message.....doesn't get deleted......😉

Why would it be deleted.  It was posted on page 2 of this thread also and has been there for several weeks now.

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Update: I called RC today since we're just over two weeks out. They said they would be finalizing all exemptions this week and I should hear something for sure by the end of the week. Either way it'll be nice to finally have this three year long chapter of my life closed. I talked to my Mom and we agreed that (much as we hate cruising without the kiddos) if the exemption doesn't get accepted we'll be calling to find a Virgin cruise with unvaccinated space and we'll be trying them out for a five day in August. I'm pretty excited to soon be back on a ship one way or another. 🙂

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33 minutes ago, Bowen said:

Update: I called RC today since we're just over two weeks out. They said they would be finalizing all exemptions this week and I should hear something for sure by the end of the week. Either way it'll be nice to finally have this three year long chapter of my life closed. I talked to my Mom and we agreed that (much as we hate cruising without the kiddos) if the exemption doesn't get accepted we'll be calling to find a Virgin cruise with unvaccinated space and we'll be trying them out for a five day in August. I'm pretty excited to soon be back on a ship one way or another. 🙂

We are also looking at Virgin.  We still haven’t confirmed whether or not we (as unvaxxed) would have to test.  @michellesays we don’t but I thought unvaxxed still have to test.  If we don’t have to test we will be booking Virgin ASAP.  I just wish they didn’t just do 4/5 nights out of Miami.  Guess we’ll have to do a B2B !

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I was also thinking B2B. Did you call them? I was under the impression you do not have to test unless you say "Yes" on the COVID questionnaire about a symptom of COVID. If you do call them, let me know, if not I'll let you know once I get final word from RC.

 

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47 minutes ago, Bowen said:

I was also thinking B2B. Did you call them? I was under the impression you do not have to test unless you say "Yes" on the COVID questionnaire about a symptom of COVID. If you do call them, let me know, if not I'll let you know once I get final word from RC.

 

No, I haven’t called them. I’m waiting on my TA to confirm for sure that we won’t have to test.  I’ll let you know what I find out.

I really know nothing about Virgin.  I have some research to do.

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Woot! I just got the email about my vaccine exemption, it was denied. This is such a load off, lol. I've cancelled the packages I bought and am on the phone now to cancel and get my money and FCCs back, after three years!! As soon as that's done I'll be on the phone to Virgin. 🙂

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9 minutes ago, Bowen said:

Woot! I just got the email about my vaccine exemption, it was denied. This is such a load off, lol. I've cancelled the packages I bought and am on the phone now to cancel and get my money and FCCs back, after three years!! As soon as that's done I'll be on the phone to Virgin. 🙂

Not sure whether to give you my condolences or congratulations !  At least you know, now.

This will be an interesting process.

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She said they will not refund the FCCs but will reissue them. I'm okay with that, they don't expire so I'll use them again. I did get her to list every single one I used on the cruise, along with the dollar amounts and names, so at least I'll have those handy when the time comes to rebook. And congratulations, please, lol! I've been dealing with this for so long that I'm just glad to be done with it. I was seriously stressing about having to shell out another $500 for COVID tests and then taking an additional test on top of that at the port, so much money potentially wasted. And my mom just messaged and asked about taking my grown niece on Virgin with us as a HS graduation gift, so that trip just got way more fun! I'm going to call them now.

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I think you could have gotten your FCCs refunded.  Back in Nov I got <$20K in FCCs refunded from a cancellation due to COVID protocols.  Sounds like you’re ok with it though.  I wish I had your confidence that we will be able to use them [FCCs] one day.  
 

So, to be clear, the CSR at Virgin said that if they accept an unvaxxed pax they still must test ?  When you said that vaxes and testing would go through Sept I wasn't sure “who” you were talking about.

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@WAAAYTOOOI am sure he means Royal. The Casino Royale rep reminded me last week that on my Sept 7th Nav sailing I still need to have a negative test. But I was calling about my Nov sailings and she just mentions having vax info......so I believe the testing might go away after the Sept 30th protocols expire.

@Bowen Congrats on the alleviation of stress. It is worse to be waiting to know and then still have uncertainty if it goes through with testing still involved.

In the case for all of you who can't cruise because of vax requirements, I am glad some lines are now possibly offering the chance. I hope that soon all of you will be able to cruise RCG again. 

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Yes, the RC rep said that the protocols would be in place through September. I couldn't get ahold of Virgin, they are closed until morning.

I thought about pushing for my FCCs to get refunded, but we're so close to a port that I'll use them the moment the mandates are dropped, like that next week, lol. 

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8 hours ago, Bowen said:

I've been watching videos all week long, it's very intriguing. I've never done a premium line, so it seems really neat that a ton of stuff is included, which makes sense given the cost. 🙂 The Videos are all really good though, great reviews.

https://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/articles.cfm?ID=6383

 

Interesting article about virgin cruises. Its always good to know what to expect..Celebrity Cruises it definitely isn't lol 

Some will love it others will wonder they have booked lol 

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3 hours ago, Ray said:

https://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/articles.cfm?ID=6383

 

Interesting article about virgin cruises. Its always good to know what to expect..Celebrity Cruises it definitely isn't lol 

Some will love it others will wonder they have booked lol 

Great article, thanks! It almost sounds like Vegas on a cruise ship. You can go watch the risqué shows if you want, or you can be like me at stick to to food, gambling, and cirque. Something for everyone. 😀

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RCL needs to clearly lay out what comprises a successful exemption request. Also, an answer should be available within 3 - 5 business days. Seems like some shoddy administrative work in this area with little proper management oversight. 

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11 minutes ago, KristiZ said:

I’m pretty sure the only thing that matters is the percentage of unvaccinated people onboard. 

Yeah I think that’s all it is, they are getting way more requests than they can handle. It would be nice if you could call to book the cruise and find out right then if there is room for unvaccinated. It doesn’t feel great to tie up money on a booked cruise without knowing if you can actually go. Hopefully Virgin does let you know before hand. I’m calling today so I’ll report back.

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Just spoke to RCL - their events call line for a cruise I have booked in December. She said that there will be an announcement coming soon (when pressed she said it could be in the next few days) with a change to the policy.  Very interesting and hopeful for big changes! Let the Healthy Unvaxxed sail! 

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1 hour ago, Bowen said:

@WAAAYTOOOI just got off the phone with them. Unvaccinated are required to test at the port. All good, at least now I can go ahead and plan a land vacation somewhere. Maybe I’ll be back to cruising next year. 😀

Thank you SO much.  This is what I thought. ..but at least we are moving in the right direction.  Land vacations for us, too.  Already have Disney booked for Dec and looking at some all-inclusive but frankly, I am not quite comfortable with international flight for a variety of reasons.  May just continue to stay close to home.  At least home is in paradise ! 😉

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1 hour ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

Thank you SO much.  This is what I thought. ..but at least we are moving in the right direction.  Land vacations for us, too.  Already have Disney booked for Dec and looking at some all-inclusive but frankly, I am not quite comfortable with international flight for a variety of reasons.  May just continue to stay close to home.  At least home is in paradise ! 😉

Yeah, we don't do international anymore either, I don't want to risk getting stuck somewhere. We have Universal in November and I think I might take the kids to Great Wolf for a few days in a couple of weeks. Good times! 

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This thread has been very helpful. Excited for that (hopefully) upcoming announcement. I think if RC doesn't allow unvaccinated after said announcement, I may take a Princess cruise, since they and Virgin seem to be the only ones welcoming the unvaccinated. But hopefully RC drops everything and I can get back to the good stuff! In the meantime I have a Universal trip planned as well! Land vacations until then!

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2 hours ago, nate91 said:

This thread has been very helpful. Excited for that (hopefully) upcoming announcement. I think if RC doesn't allow unvaccinated after said announcement, I may take a Princess cruise, since they and Virgin seem to be the only ones welcoming the unvaccinated. But hopefully RC drops everything and I can get back to the good stuff! In the meantime I have a Universal trip planned as well! Land vacations until then!

I honestly don't believe that the reason or wording anyone uses on there exemption request means didly squat. They accept them until they reach 10% and then cut them off. I highly doubt there is someone at Royal's offices sifting through exemption requests saying that religious exemption request A is not as fundamentally founded as religious exemption request B. Or that this medical request exemption is more scientific than that medical exemption........

 

 

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45 minutes ago, Vancity Cruiser said:

I honestly don't believe that the reason or wording anyone uses on there exemption request means didly squat. They accept them until they reach 10% and then cut them off. I highly doubt there is someone at Royal's offices sifting through exemption requests saying that religious exemption request A is not as fundamentally founded as religious exemption request B. Or that this medical request exemption is more scientific than that medical exemption........

 

 

I completely agree with you

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