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Maybe an end in sight?? Cruise lines call for CDC to change covid testing policy


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expedition voyages on the Viking Octantis in the United States and Canada will continue to require a pre-departure COVID-19 test.”

So, they haven't suspended the pre-cruise testing for this ship in the United States. I really don't see any changes to the pre-cruise testing until late this year. 

 

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Even though a cruise line may drop the test requirements, a/some/all the ports of call may still have them.  I sure hope that the cruise lines that drop the test mandate exerts whatever pressure they can on the governments at the ports of call to do the same OR only cruise to countries that don't have the mandate.  So, I'm guessing that even if the cruise line drops the mandate for cruising on their cruise line, they may still require you to have a pre-cruise test so the ship can enter a port of call that still has the requirement of a negative test to enter for all its passengers.

Just a thought!

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Society is learning to live with the virus.  The end of pre-cruise testing is a step in that process just as society has adapted to live with other viruses.  

The calls for change are the beginning.  The question is... will the CDC make the change?  They've been slow to change cruise ship policies throughout this pandemic.  

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12 minutes ago, twangster said:

Society is learning to live with the virus.  The end of pre-cruise testing is a step in that process just as society has adapted to live with other viruses.  

The calls for change are the beginning.  The question is... will the CDC make the change?  They've been slow to change cruise ship policies throughout this pandemic.  

I agree and also 'slow' is a bit of an easy term to describe their speed. They move slower than a very small snail! lol

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I do hope they stop the pre-cruise testing unless the destinations require it. Both of our cruises this summer will fit the no-testing criteria so fingers crossed but not holding my breath that it will happen that soon.  Hey I like to dream Big! 😉

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Not looking for an argument but stating my thoughts that have been eating at me for awhile now:
So not only would I love to see the pre-cruise testing stop…how about allowing the unvaccinated back onboard?

I have never taken sides and I do not think it is my place to do so.  I am me…and nobody else.
I am vaccinated and boosted (twice) and got COVID for the first time 2 weeks ago after returning from a family vacation to Disney.  There were nine of us and only 2 did not get sick…both unvaccinated!  

I think this virus is pretty close to becoming our next head cold or flu.  Some will get very sick…some will have mild symptoms…some will never get sick!  So…….why are the unvaccinated still being penalized this late in the game?

I certainly hope my thoughts here do not start a war on words…but I feel better having finally stated how I think. 

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21 minutes ago, PPPJJ-GCVAB said:

Not looking for an argument but stating my thoughts that have been eating at me for awhile now:
So not only would I love to see the pre-cruise testing stop…how about allowing the unvaccinated back onboard?

I have never taken sides and I do not think it is my place to do so.  I am me…and nobody else.
I am vaccinated and boosted (twice) and got COVID for the first time 2 weeks ago after returning from a family vacation to Disney.  There were nine of us and only 2 did not get sick…both unvaccinated!  

I think this virus is pretty close to becoming our next head cold or flu.  Some will get very sick…some will have mild symptoms…some will never get sick!  So…….why are the unvaccinated still being penalized this late in the game?

I certainly hope my thoughts here do not start a war on words…but I feel better having finally stated how I think. 

I understand where you are coming from and you will get no argument out of me. I believe also that this is very close to becoming an everyday virus, just like the cold and even seasonal just like the flu. 

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I would like to see at least one or both go but I can understand the need to keep one or the other for liability sakes. Liability is really the only issue I can see as a stop gate to dropping testing and vax requirements. Because the ship is a sort of "closed" environment, anyone who catches anything will try to sue. I would say if they could include language in the cruise contract that absolves the line of liability, it would make it easier. But people don't read the contracts now, it would just make the lines look bad. If they do get rid of testing, I believe it will happen after the summer is over. 

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58 minutes ago, LovetoCruise87 said:

I understand where you are coming from and you will get no argument out of me. I believe also that this is very close to becoming an everyday virus, just like the cold and even seasonal just like the flu. 

Given that approximately 25-30% of what has always been called "the common cold" was already caused by coronaviruses, aside from the particularly strong effect this version (these versions) had on some people it could be argued that this was always an "everyday virus."

The fact that they came up with vaccines to lessen the impact of the virus puts the old "there is no vaccine that can prevent the common cold" mantra into the arena of myth.

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Nonsense! Cases of Covid onboard are increasing; not declining, certainly not eliminated. Loosened protocols are not happening anytime soon.

 

A immediate change I would totally support would be the elimination of testing on your own in lieu of mandatory testing at embarkation as part of the boarding process. Add a fee to everyones cruise fare to cover the cost. As Matt has shown, Covid positive people are finding their way onboard and this needs to stop.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, bobroo said:

Nonsense! Cases of Covid onboard are increasing; not declining, certainly not eliminated. Loosened protocols are not happening anytime soon.

 

If cases are increasing, it's only mirroring national trends (which are starting to decline as the surge is ending in the northeast), not anything specific to cruise ships. 

 

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22 minutes ago, bobroo said:

As Matt has shown, Covid positive people are finding their way onboard and this needs to stop.

 

This will never stop. Just as people with colds and other contagious bugs get on ships every day.  The big question is how to deal with covid cases on board. The next step is to get rid of the quarantine floors and just let people recover in their rooms like we do everything else that just requires OTC meds and rest to shake.

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2 hours ago, bobroo said:

A immediate change I would totally support would be the elimination of testing on your own in lieu of mandatory testing at embarkation as part of the boarding process. Add a fee to everyones cruise fare to cover the cost

 

While I see the logic behind your post, I would not be in favor of this myself.  The 2-day-prior testing on your own is stressful enough...I can't imagine having to wait until getting to the port to see if you are actually going to get on the ship.

Personally, I would be glad to see the pre-cruise testing go away.  Normally at this time (< 2-weeks out) I am in full on ready-to-go mode, with passports dug out, boarding passes ready, activities planned and all necessary things taken care of around my house.  Now, none of that is done because I'm not sure I am going on vacation.  If I would have realized the level of stress I would be, and will be, feeling until next Saturday I would not have booked at this time.  And won't book again unless and until the pre-testing is eliminated. If pre-testing is eliminated  and cases rise dramatically on cruise ships, I'll make the call then as to whether I want to go.

IF my family and myself test negative next Saturday morning, I am going to have a VERY busy Saturday and Sunday around here.

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35 minutes ago, bobroo said:

Nonsense! Cases of Covid onboard are increasing; not declining, certainly not eliminated. Loosened protocols are not happening anytime soon.

 

A immediate change I would totally support would be the elimination of testing on your own in lieu of mandatory testing at embarkation as part of the boarding process. Add a fee to everyones cruise fare to cover the cost. As Matt has shown, Covid positive people are finding their way onboard and this needs to stop.

 

 

I share some of your concerns -- not sure if cases are rising (we lack true random sampling), but certainly the virus remains ever-present.  I am in favor of cruise line testing at the port for a modest fee built into the fare, but I don't think this is practical because of the thousands of travelers who would need testing in a short period of time.  Also, would you really want to travel to a cruise port only to be turned away because of a positive test, or would you rather test yourself the day before you travel?  Again, COVID is real, and we need to remain vigilant, but other diseases abound, too.   We need a strategic approach to public health in the US that addresses many concerns.  I appreciate you sharing your view and allowing me to give you at least partial support.

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1 hour ago, OrlandoDad said:

 

While I see the logic behind your post, I would not be in favor of this myself.  The 2-day-prior testing on your own is stressful enough...I can't imagine having to wait until getting to the port to see if you are actually going to get on the ship.

Personally, I would be glad to see the pre-cruise testing go away.  Normally at this time (< 2-weeks out) I am in full on ready-to-go mode, with passports dug out, boarding passes ready, activities planned and all necessary things taken care of around my house.  Now, none of that is done because I'm not sure I am going on vacation.

You just described me.

We had to do at-the-port testing last September in Barcelona, as it was mandatory for ALL passengers at that time. And those 15 minutes waiting for the test result, with the ship right there were miserable.

For our recent cruise on Odyssey, which sailed from Rome, we had to test one day ahead of sailing. The 15 minutes in the pharmacy waiting for the test result were equally stressful.

For our upcoming cruise on Anthem from Southampton the current testing requirement is two days ahead of sailing. That cruise is at the end of September. I am so hoping the testing will go away before then but at least for that sailing the test window means we can test before travelling to our departure city and that does actually make a teeny tiny difference because the big black cloud of potentially having to quarantine away from home has been removed.

In ALL cases, the pre-cruise excitement and anticipation has been essentially wiped out by the testing requirement. If it goes away before our Anthem cruise I will be dancing in delight.

I am still going to keep booking future cruises though because surely it has to go away sometime and I enjoy cruising too much to not book.

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I saw that Viking dropped all pre-cruise testing yesterday (except where required like US and Canada). If they can do it, RCI and other lines can too (at least overseas).  
 

As others have said, pre-cruise testing really sucks a lot of the joy out of the pre-cruise period since you have no idea if you’re going on the trip until two days before. 

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3 hours ago, bobroo said:

 

A immediate change I would totally support would be the elimination of testing on your own in lieu of mandatory testing at embarkation as part of the boarding process. Add a fee to everyones cruise fare to cover the cost. As Matt has shown, Covid positive people are finding their way onboard and this needs to stop.

 

 

Even if you test day of boarding it will not eliminate someone who is “incubating” the virus and tested negative on embarkation from becoming positive and spreading it and developing symptoms (or no symptoms for some). I do believe it was shown you are more contagious before you develop symptoms -

having traveled to the Bahamas at the restart and knowing if we (my family of 6)tested positive on embarkation day all of our needs would be met by Royal (hotel, meals, quarantine, return flights)  I was comfortable going.  Royal changed that policy (I’m sure it became quite expensive for Royal once Omicron variant hit hard in January and that’s when they discontinued that policy.

I for one would not schedule another cruise where testing is done on the day of embarkation unless it was to a drivable port, unless the cruise line would guarantee to pay for all associated costs from a positive test like Royal did at the restart. 

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