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What's the point of Pre-Cruise Testing?


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What is the point of Pre-Cruise test?  Our party of 13 was so stressful before the cruise, worrying and hoping all were negative before the cruise.

We got off on Oasis of the Seas on 7-15.  On debarkation day, one friend wasn't feeling.  Got home and test positive.  Then Saturday, got a text another 2 were text positive.  Now just got another text another friend is test positive.   So far 4 out of 13 of us is test positive..  Crossing fingers and hoping that's it.  I been testing myself everyday also...

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There are no doubt issues with pre-cruise testing.  However, the alternative is generally worse.

Many, many people get Covid sometime during a cruise.  There are several factors involved including ports.  When people get off at ports, they may become exposed to covid-positive people, whether residents of the port city or other tourists.  This may be one of the biggest reasons that cruisers still get covid during or after the cruise.

Now, the 2-3 day pre-cruise testing is not a perfect science either.  For example, the typical incubation period for the virus is said to be 5 days.  So you may test negative prior to boarding because the virus has not multiplied enough to be detected, but a couple of days later, you may have covid.  Another reason thatmany cruisers are getting covid during or after the cruise.

People misunderstand what the term "science" means.  Science is NOT always fact.  Theories in science are the result of multiple testing under strict conditions and close observations, but this does not mean that the result becomes law, or indisputable fact.  For example, the theory of relativity has been tested with math.  Newton's Law, which explains the gravitational constant, is indisputable and is scientific law or fact.  So following the science does not mean that for every one way of doing things, you will get absolute results EVERY time.

Back to testing.  It is anxiety-ridden and stressful.  But in my humble opinion, it helps in the number of overall covid spread.  It is not perfect.  It sucks. But it is what it is.

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In the US testing is a requirement from the CDC and part of the framework that all major cruise lines opted into. 

Like other protocols no single protocol by itself will eliminate all risk or the possibility of becoming infected with CV-19.   Each protocol has varying effectiveness with some protocols having more impact than others.  Collectively they reduce but they do not eliminate the possibility of testing positive. 

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Testing yourself before a cruise with the same urgency as the OP does after his cruise will take away ALL the stress that someone tests positive before the cruise.

100% free, self administered, and non-reported tests are available at COVID.gov/tests  These non-proctored tests are not accepted to board a cruise ship, but feel free to use them as a pre-test.

 

If Royal was really concerned about the many, many people who are claiming they come home COVID positive, they would require mandatory rapid testing of every passenger at the port of time of embarkation and do away with the Pre Cruise Testing On Your Own. I'd like to think Royal would enact such a system just to protect the crew members.

 

 

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The point of pre-cruise testing is to keep people off the ship who knowingly have COVID. While I'm sure the test catches some people unaware, and false positives can be retested before embarkation for a negative result, without the required test there would be people who know they have COVID, but have no qualms about exposing others so they can have their vacation.

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As someone that contracted COVID post a week long, Eastern Caribbean cruise in June but was fine after a April weekend cruise to Coco Cay only, I really suspect that the COVID cases on board and post debarkation is mostly coming from the ports visited.   Testing eliminates the obvious cases from getting on board.  New variants are contagious but lighter in symptoms.  I was tired for a couple days, had a head cold and irritating cough.  My wife was down a little longer but as someone with diabetes, she tends to take a little longer to get over things.  She was feeling tired on debarkation day and tested positive the day after, it took me 3 days post to test positive.  I could have got it from her or from anyone else.  I figure though it was the shops in Sint Martin as that was 5 days before I tested.  If people were incubating prior to the test, there would be a lot more sickness early to mid cruise vs. those coming down with it with 1 day left or post cruise.  

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5 hours ago, Rackham said:

The point of pre-cruise testing is to keep people off the ship who knowingly have COVID. While I'm sure the test catches some people unaware, and false positives can be retested before embarkation for a negative result, without the required test there would be people who know they have COVID, but have no qualms about exposing others so they can have their vacation.

I heard stories of people getting negative fake covid test. 

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 We had three cruises go south because of positive tests. Not a single symptom and only one had a second positive reading. The self administered ones that don't count all were negatives prior to the real deals. So I have to kinda wonder about accuracy?  One problem I see is the number of test facilities is way down and prices are moving up higher each time.  The 1200+ we have spent on tests is another cruise we could have taken. At least they eased up on the FCC deadlines sow we don't just throw that money away as well. I get why they do it but as someone else said above , they should have quick testing for everybody set up at the port. 

 

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5 hours ago, deep1 said:

as someone else said above , they should have quick testing for everybody set up at the port. 

 

“Quick” testing is not quick when you are talking about thousands of people.  I sailed out of Bermuda last year and we all had to test at the pier.  The Sailing was only allowed to be at 30% capacity, who knows if they hit that.  Each person had to be processed in, move along and be processed, then go sit and await results.   Remember a rapid test takes at least 15 minutes.  If a test is inconclusive it has to be redone .  Once you passed you were given an appropriate bracelet and allowed to board.  This was not a10 minute process, it was quite long.  Additionally they had families socially distanced. Remember the healthy sail, if you’ve been in close contact to a Covid positive you can’t board.  At 30 % capacity they had difficulty keeping families socially distanced during testing.  So, I think the odds of testing everyone as they board are slim to none.  Perhaps a % of random people would be easier to test.  
I do know that I would not be flying to a cruise again if I have to test to board on day of.   There’s a lot of risk  involved if positive. Cost of quarantine of the family, hotel, meals and a change in transportation.  It’s not an expense I would take on for my large family. 

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Have some perspective, covid today isn't covid of 2020. I have 4,500 employees, in 2020, a few died and about every 20th one to get covid was hospitalized, Many were in the ICU, it was no joke. In 2022, I've had over a thousand catch it this year not a single hospitalization. These last few weeks at any one time 100 have it, 10 a day come back, 10 go out, I give them all free 2 weeks of paid leave if they test positive and it does not come out of their regular leave balances so as to not encourage people working sick so it is not under reported and I get daily reports. In January this year  me and my three Moderna shots, wore a mask, still caught it. Wife got it in June, same shots. So why would I give a a darn about covid, masks, or tests, we caught it six months apart, had our shots at the same time, still shared a bed while we were sick, still kissed goodnight and didn't even give it to each other either time. Just stop the testing, I'll walk into a covid ward and kiss everyone there, nothing can stop it and I am not afraid of it. Even the head of county USC hospital in Los Angeles (the furthest from right wing conspiracy theorists you can find), in a county reimposing masks said that almost nobody in the hospital with covid is in the hospital because of covid. It's over!

 

P.S., my employees are about 65-70% vaccinated, in 2022 there is no discernible difference in their odds of catching it or how serious it is based vaccine status or mask wearing or prior infection, not in catching it or catching it twice. What was true on 2020 and 2021 is not applicable to 2022 My study, because of workman's comp is in depth and is as big or bigger than other studies you read online and from my data, nothing stops it and its no big deal if you get it. If you are on death's doorstep or scared to death, stay home. It's endemic and it is the common cold now, let's move on, nobody was wrong and nobody was right, stop blaming but do accept that it is over.

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8 hours ago, Temeculaguy said:

Have some perspective, covid today isn't covid of 2020. I have 4,500 employees, in 2020, a few died and about every 20th one to get covid was hospitalized, Many were in the ICU, it was no joke. In 2022, I've had over a thousand catch it this year not a single hospitalization. These last few weeks at any one time 100 have it, 10 a day come back, 10 go out, I give them all free 2 weeks of paid leave if they test positive and it does not come out of their regular leave balances so as to not encourage people working sick so it is not under reported and I get daily reports. In January this year  me and my three Moderna shots, wore a mask, still caught it. Wife got it in June, same shots. So why would I give a a darn about covid, masks, or tests, we caught it six months apart, had our shots at the same time, still shared a bed while we were sick, still kissed goodnight and didn't even give it to each other either time. Just stop the testing, I'll walk into a covid ward and kiss everyone there, nothing can stop it and I am not afraid of it. Even the head of county USC hospital in Los Angeles (the furthest from right wing conspiracy theorists you can find), in a county reimposing masks said that almost nobody in the hospital with covid is in the hospital because of covid. It's over!

 

P.S., my employees are about 65-70% vaccinated, in 2022 there is no discernible difference in their odds of catching it or how serious it is based vaccine status or mask wearing or prior infection, not in catching it or catching it twice. What was true on 2020 and 2021 is not applicable to 2022 My study, because of workman's comp is in depth and is as big or bigger than other studies you read online and from my data, nothing stops it and its no big deal if you get it. If you are on death's doorstep or scared to death, stay home. It's endemic and it is the common cold now, let's move on, nobody was wrong and nobody was right, stop blaming but do accept that it is over.

Hallelujah !  Some honest reflection.  Thank you...and thank you for the way you are handling your staff.  This is the most generous policy for COVID that I have ever read about.  Good for you.

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8 hours ago, Temeculaguy said:

Have some perspective, covid today isn't covid of 2020. I have 4,500 employees, in 2020, a few died and about every 20th one to get covid was hospitalized, Many were in the ICU, it was no joke. In 2022, I've had over a thousand catch it this year not a single hospitalization. These last few weeks at any one time 100 have it, 10 a day come back, 10 go out, I give them all free 2 weeks of paid leave if they test positive and it does not come out of their regular leave balances so as to not encourage people working sick so it is not under reported and I get daily reports. In January this year  me and my three Moderna shots, wore a mask, still caught it. Wife got it in June, same shots. So why would I give a a darn about covid, masks, or tests, we caught it six months apart, had our shots at the same time, still shared a bed while we were sick, still kissed goodnight and didn't even give it to each other either time. Just stop the testing, I'll walk into a covid ward and kiss everyone there, nothing can stop it and I am not afraid of it. Even the head of county USC hospital in Los Angeles (the furthest from right wing conspiracy theorists you can find), in a county reimposing masks said that almost nobody in the hospital with covid is in the hospital because of covid. It's over!

 

P.S., my employees are about 65-70% vaccinated, in 2022 there is no discernible difference in their odds of catching it or how serious it is based vaccine status or mask wearing or prior infection, not in catching it or catching it twice. What was true on 2020 and 2021 is not applicable to 2022 My study, because of workman's comp is in depth and is as big or bigger than other studies you read online and from my data, nothing stops it and its no big deal if you get it. If you are on death's doorstep or scared to death, stay home. It's endemic and it is the common cold now, let's move on, nobody was wrong and nobody was right, stop blaming but do accept that it is over.

Thanks for the report, but long-term Covid effects are the real threat now.  Scans show brain swelling even when symptoms are mild or nonexistent.  Just one example.  So we still need to be vigilent and treat Covid 19 seriously, but we also have other public health issues.  We can't just focus on Covid 19.

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11 hours ago, Pattycruise said:

“Quick” testing is not quick when you are talking about thousands of people.  I sailed out of Bermuda last year and we all had to test at the pier.  The Sailing was only allowed to be at 30% capacity, who knows if they hit that.  Each person had to be processed in, move along and be processed, then go sit and await results.   Remember a rapid test takes at least 15 minutes.  If a test is inconclusive it has to be redone .  Once you passed you were given an appropriate bracelet and allowed to board.  This was not a10 minute process, it was quite long.  Additionally they had families socially distanced. Remember the healthy sail, if you’ve been in close contact to a Covid positive you can’t board.  At 30 % capacity they had difficulty keeping families socially distanced during testing.  So, I think the odds of testing everyone as they board are slim to none.  Perhaps a % of random people would be easier to test.  
I do know that I would not be flying to a cruise again if I have to test to board on day of.   There’s a lot of risk  involved if positive. Cost of quarantine of the family, hotel, meals and a change in transportation.  It’s not an expense I would take on for my large family. 

Properly done with enough staff might alleviate the lines?  No quarantine as they never made it to the ship. Deny boarding? Send em on their way?  ...  Its a tough situation. With so many places not testing any more or limited testing to certain days its problematic.  Seen the airport ones as High as $250. CVS and Walgreens cancelling last minute.  I had a place that does only testing a couple miles away then they closed that location and I have to drive 30 miles each way...  Some option needs to be made available. You don't get reimbursed if you can't get a test in time. 

 

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On 7/18/2022 at 6:09 PM, MLH said:

I actually tested positive on my pre cruise test in Feb.  It wasn't a false positive and was followed up with additional tests.  I would have never known I had it if I wasnt going on a cruise.  For me, not knowing I had it , I could have infected many more people had I not tested.

@MLH Out of curiosity, do you happen to recall how long Royal Caribbean took to process your refund? My mother-in-law had almost identical situation--about a week-and-half ago, tested positive before her cruise but had absolutely no symptoms. Just curious how Royal is handling the refund process in those situations. 

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On 7/19/2022 at 10:14 AM, ChessE4 said:

Thanks for the report, but long-term Covid effects are the real threat now.  Scans show brain swelling even when symptoms are mild or nonexistent.  Just one example.  So we still need to be vigilent and treat Covid 19 seriously, but we also have other public health issues.  We can't just focus on Covid 19.

Nope.

Like countless other ailments of the past, present, and future.  Be it viral, bacterial, sprains, strains, etc..  There can be lingering effects that affect us for a time being or permanently.  That is/has/will what happen in life.  It's not new or unique.  Just because we don't test test test vax vax vax, doesn't mean we aren't taking things seriously.  That doesn't determine the definition of taken "seriously".  FOCUS on a healthy daily lifestyle that fortifies the body for battle....then we can binge and induldge on vacations!  😉

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On 7/19/2022 at 2:15 AM, Temeculaguy said:

Have some perspective, covid today isn't covid of 2020. I have 4,500 employees, in 2020, a few died and about every 20th one to get covid was hospitalized, Many were in the ICU, it was no joke. In 2022, I've had over a thousand catch it this year not a single hospitalization. These last few weeks at any one time 100 have it, 10 a day come back, 10 go out, I give them all free 2 weeks of paid leave if they test positive and it does not come out of their regular leave balances so as to not encourage people working sick so it is not under reported and I get daily reports. In January this year  me and my three Moderna shots, wore a mask, still caught it. Wife got it in June, same shots. So why would I give a a darn about covid, masks, or tests, we caught it six months apart, had our shots at the same time, still shared a bed while we were sick, still kissed goodnight and didn't even give it to each other either time. Just stop the testing, I'll walk into a covid ward and kiss everyone there, nothing can stop it and I am not afraid of it. Even the head of county USC hospital in Los Angeles (the furthest from right wing conspiracy theorists you can find), in a county reimposing masks said that almost nobody in the hospital with covid is in the hospital because of covid. It's over!

 

P.S., my employees are about 65-70% vaccinated, in 2022 there is no discernible difference in their odds of catching it or how serious it is based vaccine status or mask wearing or prior infection, not in catching it or catching it twice. What was true on 2020 and 2021 is not applicable to 2022 My study, because of workman's comp is in depth and is as big or bigger than other studies you read online and from my data, nothing stops it and its no big deal if you get it. If you are on death's doorstep or scared to death, stay home. It's endemic and it is the common cold now, let's move on, nobody was wrong and nobody was right, stop blaming but do accept that it is over.

Great information and it really puts the whole thing in perspective. I also believe that this is now endemic. No one is going around suggesting that everyone test if they have the common cold or not. 

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53 minutes ago, CharmMicah68 said:

Nope.

Like countless other ailments of the past, present, and future.  Be it viral, bacterial, sprains, strains, etc..  There can be lingering effects that affect us for a time being or permanently.  That is/has/will what happen in life.  It's not new or unique.  Just because we don't test test test vax vax vax, doesn't mean we aren't taking things seriously.  That doesn't determine the definition of taken "seriously".  FOCUS on a healthy daily lifestyle that fortifies the body for battle....then we can binge and induldge on vacations!  😉

Every single day when I spend an hour on my Peloton I remind myself that it's all worth it so I can indulge when the time comes to indulge. 🙂

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