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US to extend state of emergency Friday? Will cruises finally opt out?


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I have absolutely no confirmation of this, just some Tweets from an account that is generally reliable. According to them the rumor is that the US government will be extending the pandemic emergency on Friday. If this happens then it seems like the idea that pre cruise testing and vaccination going away will not be happening anytime soon. If this happens, do you think the cruise ships will continue to go along with the opt in for what the CDC is currently making them do?

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12 hours ago, Bowen said:

I have absolutely no confirmation of this, just some Tweets from an account that is generally reliable. According to them the rumor is that the US government will be extending the pandemic emergency on Friday. If this happens then it seems like the idea that pre cruise testing and vaccination going away will not be happening anytime soon. If this happens, do you think the cruise ships will continue to go along with the opt in for what the CDC is currently making them do?

I hope so, but doubt it.

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12 hours ago, Bowen said:

I have absolutely no confirmation of this, just some Tweets from an account that is generally reliable. According to them the rumor is that the US government will be extending the pandemic emergency on Friday. If this happens then it seems like the idea that pre cruise testing and vaccination going away will not be happening anytime soon. If this happens, do you think the cruise ships will continue to go along with the opt in for what the CDC is currently making them do?

Doubtful....

Remember cruise lines did not have to opt into the program but they all did so voluntarily because it is better for cruise lines to work with the CDC than work against them.  Keep in mind although the rest of travel industry in the US has long put covid behind them the cruise industry in this country is still in a precarious situation in their relationship with the CDC.  For lack of a better way to explain it cruise lines and the CDC are like frenemies and at the end of the day the CDC not the cruise lines still has the ace in the hole.  

It is doubtful that at this point in time any cruise line sailing out of the US would voluntarily opt out.

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Opting out may not make a huge difference right now, not that I expect any cruise line to do that.

Carnival's John Heald their "brand ambassador" recently posted that many of the protocols requirements are established by the countries they visit.  Opting out of the CDC framework doesn't make the testing and vaccine requirements go away because of the destinations they visit.  For example, Alaska and New England cruises always include Canada in some form, so Canadian requirements are in play even if you take the CDC out of the picture.

Just as member countries of the EU have no standard and establish their own requirements so do Caribbean nations.  Not all Caribbean nations have highly scientific agencies to do lots of research and set policies so some of them lean heavily on the CDC and borrow their requirements from the CDC.  Even if cruise lines opt out of the CDC framework they still have to conform to port of call requirements everywhere they sail.  

At this point in time dumping the CDC doesn't really solve anything.  In fact some cruise destinations could step up their protocols if the cruise lines stopped testing.  

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I    would concede that opting out doesn't immediately influence cruising capacities or booking demand.  There are many factors impacting the current status (pent-up demand, got to get out whatever the cost mind set, money to burn, threat of FCC expiration).  Eventually that will level out and RCCL knows it and by that time will pull out or the CDC will drop it.  They are probably betting on CDC dropping it....which they should.  Having said that....nothing surprises me on the behavior of government controlled institutions.

The question I    have is, would anyone participating in this blog NOT cruise if RCCL dropped from the CDC voluntary program?  Would anyone actually cancel their cruise or NOT book one because of dropping the protocols of the CDC program? 

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1 hour ago, twangster said:

Opting out may not make a huge difference right now, not that I expect any cruise line to do that.

Carnival's John Heald their "brand ambassador" recently posted that many of the protocols requirements are established by the countries they visit.  Opting out of the CDC framework doesn't make the testing and vaccine requirements go away because of the destinations they visit.  For example, Alaska and New England cruises always include Canada in some form, so Canadian requirements are in play even if you take the CDC out of the picture.

Just as member countries of the EU have no standard and establish their own requirements so do Caribbean nations.  Not all Caribbean nations have highly scientific agencies to do lots of research and set policies so some of them lean heavily on the CDC and borrow their requirements from the CDC.  Even if cruise lines opt out of the CDC framework they still have to conform to port of call requirements everywhere they sail.  

At this point in time dumping the CDC doesn't really solve anything.  In fact some cruise destinations could step up their protocols if the cruise lines stopped testing.  

Maybe some of them will move toward the idea that if you're not vaccinated/tested then you can't get off the ship. I have no idea if their income right now is based on new bookings or FCCs, so that makes a big difference. I'm just thinking of people who simply cannot cruise with these regulations in place, people who cruise with extended family, etc. Ah well, they know what their bottom line can and cannot handle. It would be nice though for them to only have to worry about other country's protocols and not the US's, which are special just for cruises because....reasons. 

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38 minutes ago, Bowen said:

Maybe some of them will move toward the idea that if you're not vaccinated/tested then you can't get off the ship. I have no idea if their income right now is based on new bookings or FCCs, so that makes a big difference. I'm just thinking of people who simply cannot cruise with these regulations in place, people who cruise with extended family, etc. Ah well, they know what their bottom line can and cannot handle. It would be nice though for them to only have to worry about other country's protocols and not the US's, which are special just for cruises because....reasons. 

Societies, communities and countries are slowly learning to live with the virus.  It's a process.  It's take time.  The fact that the CDC isn't completely losing it's mind over the current variant is proof that even they are learning to live with it in their own way.  

There will come a time as the world has inched its way forward that cruise life will move closer to the days before.  We just aren't there yet.  As every day passes we move closer.  

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1 hour ago, CharmMicah68 said:

The question I    have is, would anyone participating in this blog NOT cruise if RCCL dropped from the CDC voluntary program?  Would anyone actually cancel their cruise or NOT book one because of dropping the protocols of the CDC program? 

I don't know if I would cancel my cruise, but I feel better knowing we all have to get tested before boarding.

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1 hour ago, CharmMicah68 said:

I    would concede that opting out doesn't immediately influence cruising capacities or booking demand.  There are many factors impacting the current status (pent-up demand, got to get out whatever the cost mind set, money to burn, threat of FCC expiration).  Eventually that will level out and RCCL knows it and by that time will pull out or the CDC will drop it.  They are probably betting on CDC dropping it....which they should.  Having said that....nothing surprises me on the behavior of government controlled institutions.

The question I    have is, would anyone participating in this blog NOT cruise if RCCL dropped from the CDC voluntary program?  Would anyone actually cancel their cruise or NOT book one because of dropping the protocols of the CDC program? 

I wouldn't cancel anything. I do things all day long out in public with tons of people and never consider whether or not they are vaccinated, sick, etc. 

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1 hour ago, twangster said:

Societies, communities and countries are slowly learning to live with the virus.  It's a process.  It's take time.  The fact that the CDC isn't completely losing it's mind over the current variant is proof that even they are learning to live with it in their own way.  

There will come a time as the world has inched its way forward that cruise life will move closer to the days before.  We just aren't there yet.  As every day passes we move closer.  

I would amend this to some societies have learned to live with the virus and are getting tired of waiting for those that haven't.

I do get that it is a process that everyone has to go through to get to their comfort level but kind of like the vaccines, those that haven't gotten them at this point never will and those that aren't getting comfortable with living with may never get there either.

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4 hours ago, CharmMicah68 said:

The question I    have is, would anyone participating in this blog NOT cruise if RCCL dropped from the CDC voluntary program?  Would anyone actually cancel their cruise or NOT book one because of dropping the protocols of the CDC program? 

For me, its the exact opposite.

I've done 5 cruises since July 2021 and have one final shutdown/FCC/lift-shift related cruise happening in August and then nothing else booked until mid 2023.  Over the last few post cruise surveys, I have shared my thoughts to Royal on the protocols/requirements and that this August cruise will be my last cruise while the protocols are in place.  I currently have two booked in 2023 and one booked in 2024, but I have had enough of it all and will not go on them if protocols are still in place.  I certainly hope things change sooner than later.  

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20 hours ago, Peter D said:

For me, its the exact opposite.

I've done 5 cruises since July 2021 and have one final shutdown/FCC/lift-shift related cruise happening in August and then nothing else booked until mid 2023.  Over the last few post cruise surveys, I have shared my thoughts to Royal on the protocols/requirements and that this August cruise will be my last cruise while the protocols are in place.  I currently have two booked in 2023 and one booked in 2024, but I have had enough of it all and will not go on them if protocols are still in place.  I certainly hope things change sooner than later.  

I understand your frustration.  This new way of life was thrust upon us in an instant.  It wasn't a gradual thing.  At the outset we saw public gatherings stopped, even personal family gatherings strongly discouraged and criticized, restaurants and bars shuttered and cruising as well all other forms of public travel shut down.  Look how far back we have come from the early days.  Much of that is due to our medical community gaining a better understanding of the viral disease.  It will take a bit longer for more restrictions to be lifted but I think the term "return to normal" is a pipe dream.  It is a popular political slogan to garner support and votes.  "Learning to live with the disease" is really what it is about and we still have much to learn! 

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22 hours ago, Peter D said:

....I have shared my thoughts to Royal on the protocols/requirements and that this August cruise will be my last cruise while the protocols are in place.  ....

Really what bothersome protocol's are in place other than the silly testing 2 days before the cruise.  No masks anymore for customers. No Vax only areas.  No masks in terminal. Almost no Caribbean ports requiring only ship's tours (that is not under Royals control anyway)  No more testing for b2b.

Things sure have been getting better compared to last year at this time during the initial start up.  But then that's just my opinion

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On 7/12/2022 at 4:44 PM, Bowen said:

I wouldn't cancel anything. I do things all day long out in public with tons of people and never consider whether or not they are vaccinated, sick, etc. 

Im confused by this as you have another thread " cancelling for religious reasons " where you are cancelling cruises to get cash back due to the regulations in place...

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43 minutes ago, CruiseGus said:

Really what bothersome protocol's are in place other than the silly testing 2 days before the cruise.  No masks anymore for customers. No Vax only areas.  No masks in terminal. Almost no Caribbean ports requiring only ship's tours (that is not under Royals control anyway)  No more testing for b2b.

Things sure have been getting better compared to last year at this time during the initial start up.  But then that's just my opinion

The two most bothersome protocols are the 2 day testing and the vaccination mandates.  I have many friends and family would love to cruise, but will not do so under these current rules.

2 hours ago, Toby said:

 I think the term "return to normal" is a pipe dream.  It is a popular political slogan to garner support and votes.  "Learning to live with the disease" is really what it is about and we still have much to learn! 

I do not agree.  What I am looking for with 'return to normal' is for Covid to be treated the same aboard cruise ships as it is in every other industry/business.  'Return to normal' also means 'Learning to live with the disease' which is what everyone did for every other disease prior to 2020.  The days of Covid being treated as special given all the medical advances is what needs to end.

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7 hours ago, Ray said:

Im confused by this as you have another thread " cancelling for religious reasons " where you are cancelling cruises to get cash back due to the regulations in place...

So I've got a request in on two cruises right now for a religious vaccine exemption. I'm just waiting to hear back from the cruise line. If they give me the exemption we'll cruise, if not we'll cancel and get our money back.

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8 hours ago, CruiseGus said:

Really what bothersome protocol's are in place other than the silly testing 2 days before the cruise.  No masks anymore for customers. No Vax only areas.  No masks in terminal. Almost no Caribbean ports requiring only ship's tours (that is not under Royals control anyway)  No more testing for b2b.

Things sure have been getting better compared to last year at this time during the initial start up.  But then that's just my opinion

Vaccine mandates. Those are bothersome.

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On 7/12/2022 at 1:09 PM, Peter D said:

For me, its the exact opposite.

I've done 5 cruises since July 2021 and have one final shutdown/FCC/lift-shift related cruise happening in August and then nothing else booked until mid 2023.  Over the last few post cruise surveys, I have shared my thoughts to Royal on the protocols/requirements and that this August cruise will be my last cruise while the protocols are in place.  I currently have two booked in 2023 and one booked in 2024, but I have had enough of it all and will not go on them if protocols are still in place.  I certainly hope things change sooner than later.  

Same. Once we get the word on the religious exemptions we'll be done either way. We'll cruise if they let us, we'll cancel if they don't, but we won't book anything else until there are no mandates of any sort.

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5 hours ago, Bowen said:

So I've got a request in on two cruises right now for a religious vaccine exemption. I'm just waiting to hear back from the cruise line. If they give me the exemption we'll cruise, if not we'll cancel and get our money back.

Got you 🙂 

 

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13 hours ago, Bowen said:

Same. Once we get the word on the religious exemptions we'll be done either way. We'll cruise if they let us, we'll cancel if they don't, but we won't book anything else until there are no mandates of any sort.

Let us know if you get the exemptions. If successful, publish the documentation you used, so that my non-vaxxed friends can use it to file for their cruises. In these days of "self-identifying" they will identify as a Frisbeetarian to cruise if needed. 

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3 hours ago, Swar said:

Let us know if you get the exemptions. If successful, publish the documentation you used, so that my non-vaxxed friends can use it to file for their cruises. In these days of "self-identifying" they will identify as a Frisbeetarian to cruise if needed. 

This made me laugh. 🙂 I wanted to reply though because it's really important that your friends know that they do not have to be a part of any religion in order to take a religious accommodation, at least not if they are in the US and asking for a cruise that goes out of US ports. I can't say that with any authority on any other locations. SCOTUS ruled years ago that your religion is simply the moral rules by which you live your life. So if you're a vegan and someone tells you that you have to be healthier so you need to eat meat, you can take a religious exemption for that. It can be tough, trying to figure this out since it's not something most of us have ever dealt with, but whatever your friends reasons for not wanting to get vaccinated, that is their religious belief. It's more a moral belief, but what are morals if not your own religion? This has been a big time bump in the road for us especially (we're Catholic) because our religious leaders have come out and said "Take the vaccine", so that's an extra hurdle. Thankfully you don't have to do things that your religious leaders tell you to do if they go against your moral beliefs. Anyhow I hope that helps.

I just called RC again since we're a month out and got the check in email today. I plan on calling them every week until they get back to me. Last time I called (I think three weeks ago) I got an email right away asking me to clarify my religious exemption request, so maybe staying in touch with them will get things done a little faster. 🙂 

Good luck!

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On 7/12/2022 at 8:55 AM, CharmMicah68 said:

I    would concede that opting out doesn't immediately influence cruising capacities or booking demand.  There are many factors impacting the current status (pent-up demand, got to get out whatever the cost mind set, money to burn, threat of FCC expiration).  Eventually that will level out and RCCL knows it and by that time will pull out or the CDC will drop it.  They are probably betting on CDC dropping it....which they should.  Having said that....nothing surprises me on the behavior of government controlled institutions.

The question I    have is, would anyone participating in this blog NOT cruise if RCCL dropped from the CDC voluntary program?  Would anyone actually cancel their cruise or NOT book one because of dropping the protocols of the CDC program? 

yes.

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5 hours ago, CharmMicah68 said:

If you are someone that WON'T cruise if RCCL drops VAX Mandates and Testing protocols/restrictions....what metrics with the virus or conditions would have to exist for you to be comfortable with NO COVID protocols/restrictions?

If sailing out of Galveston, I would feel safe if this viral load percent was below 5% and steady. Right now it’s 843% and rising.

Houston Wastewater Viral Load

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9 hours ago, memebag said:

If sailing out of Galveston, I would feel safe if this viral load percent was below 5% and steady. Right now it’s 843% and rising.

Houston Wastewater Viral Load

Good one!  lol  At least you have some type of baseline to give you comfort.  Although, if we all checked water quality......we may never go in it.....anywhere.

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