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NCL/RCL team to develop reopening plans for CDC

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Good to see that NCL is leading the effort, along with RCL.   Interesting that Carnival is not participating, but it would seem likely that they would closely follow any recommendations which might eventually be endorsed by the CDC.

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I hope that they are looking at their various brands.  It was RCL that stated that they would still have buffets on their ships and had a photo of what appeared to be a buffet on one of their large ships.  It seems likely that protocols for ships with thousands of passengers (and less space per passenger) would have different protocols than the luxury lines (RCL's luxury brand is Silversea).  

 

The key here is whether or not the CDC will take it seriously since there have been a few articles (including ones posted on CC) that indicates a lack of cooperation from the CDC.

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On 7/6/2020 at 4:40 PM, RJ2002 said:

Good to see that NCL is leading the effort, along with RCL.   Interesting that Carnival is not participating, but it would seem likely that they would closely follow any recommendations which might eventually be endorsed by the CDC.

Others have similar initiatives:

https://www.cruisecritic.com/news/5440/

https://www.cruisecritic.com/news/5439/

It appears that there will be more task groups than cruises over the next few months 🙄

I am surprised that they are not all pooling their efforts, maybe through CLIA; forming a joint working to engage with CDC collaboratively in order to get the cruise industry moving again. 

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On 7/6/2020 at 1:49 PM, Travelcat2 said:

I hope that they are looking at their various brands.  It was RCL that stated that they would still have buffets on their ships and had a photo of what appeared to be a buffet on one of their large ships.  It seems likely that protocols for ships with thousands of passengers (and less space per passenger) would have different protocols than the luxury lines (RCL's luxury brand is Silversea).  

 

The key here is whether or not the CDC will take it seriously since there have been a few articles (including ones posted on CC) that indicates a lack of cooperation from the CDC.

Here's the actual statement from RCL, "(Where) everybody reaches in and everybody touches the same tongs, you’re not going to see (that) on land or sea,” Fain said. “(But) it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a buffet. You might have it where all of that is served to you by other people. And there (are) other possibilities. But the point is that it will evolve.” If the CDC says no buffets then RCL won't have them.

 

I would think that the protocols for the entire industry will have the same guidelines. It probably would be more difficult to implement the guidelines on larger ships but still the same: social distancing, improved AC, mask requirements, canceled shows, testing, limited capacity, special quarantine areas, etc. Some cruise lines may go above and beyond those guidelines but we won't know until we know, so there is no sense guessing. The entire industry is in this together because if there is an outbreak on one ship and it is not handled properly then the entire industry will suffer. I have no doubt that there will be COVID-19 cases on cruise ships even if we get a vaccine. How the cruise lines handle it will be key to staying afloat,

 

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Well, 8-31 is 

 

Suggestions will then be vetted by each company and presented to the CDC.

 

I'd be surprised if the CDC gets anything by mid to late September - and then I'd be very surprised if the first submission is so perfect that the CDC doesn't red-line some items and return for remediation.  That's not a slur on anyone - just how things go. 

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7 minutes ago, Travelcat2 said:

That's only their initial plan for submittal.  Assume lots of negotiations once CDC gets to review the plan.  Would expect months more before an agreement is reached which is not fairly soon..

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Well, and that assumes the cruise lines actually love everything the panel comes up with too.  I'm sure there may be some back and forthing between the panel and the lines, not only during the development but after proposal V1 is given to the lines.

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Actually there are many facets to this.  First, what type of consensus can be made among the consultants in their recommendations.   Obviously, at first they will substantial.  Second, will RCL/NCL find it economically feasible to enact these recommendations, have sign off by their OGC, insurance carriers and operational people.  I have been in many negotiations over the years with various parts of HHS (CDC, CMS and FDA specifically), and their initial meetings, negotiations and enactments typically take time.  Fold into a worldwide pandemic, a Presidential election (in the US) and the potential for a disaster (with the first outbreak on a ship) it will be many months or possibly a year before all the kinks are worked out.

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1 hour ago, rallydave said:

That's only their initial plan for submittal.  Assume lots of negotiations once CDC gets to review the plan.  Would expect months more before an agreement is reached which is not fairly soon..

 

And what are your facts based on?  I think that, at this point, we need to state whether something is our opinion or a fact.  If it is a fact, it would help to know the source.  

 

You  have once again misunderstood my post.  I posted that the joint plan would be completed fairly soon.  In the article that I linked, it is stated that their plan would be done by August 31st (which, IMO, is fairly soon).  I. made no comments or predictions about how long it would take for final approval.  

 

Since there has not been a pandemic in our lifetime, people tend to believe almost anything.  It is up to CC members to not state misleading information.

 

howiefrommd - This is not a typical time.  The FDA gave emergency approval to two drugs already and the CDC came up with guidelines for schools very quickly and now refuse to change them to make them weaker - a good thing IMHO).  

 

While it would be helpful to look at the past and make assumptions.  However, there has not been a pandemic for over 100 years.  It appears that the CDC is taking this seriously and would not unnecessarily stop all cruises for months.  

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4 minutes ago, Travelcat2 said:

 

And what are your facts based on?  I think that, at this point, we need to state whether something is our opinion or a fact.  If it is a fact, it would help to know the source.  

 

You  have once again misunderstood my post.  I posted that the joint plan would be completed fairly soon.  In the article that I linked, it is stated that their plan would be done by August 31st (which, IMO, is fairly soon).  I. made no comments or predictions about how long it would take for final approval.  

 

Since there has not been a pandemic in our lifetime, people tend to believe almost anything.  It is up to CC members to not state misleading information.

 

howiefrommd - This is not a typical time.  The FDA gave emergency approval to two drugs already and the CDC came up with guidelines for schools very quickly and now refuse to change them to make them weaker - a good thing IMHO).  

 

While it would be helpful to look at the past and make assumptions.  However, there has not been a pandemic for over 100 years.  It appears that the CDC is taking this seriously and would not unnecessarily stop all cruises for months.  

EUA's by FDA are not a rare as one thinks, it is an essential tool within their regulatory ability and they use it judiciously. 

 

As they say in the movie (and now in a book) "I have been in the room" many times during these type of negotiations take place, I have  worked with or for some of the major players on this consulting panel.   I seriously believe (and this is a personal comment) that this panel nor the CDC is looking at this as anything but a public health decision.  The safety of public health certainly should be paramount to that of the economic conditions effecting the cruise industry. 

I was talking to a colleague about the requirements set forth in the in the CFR April 15. 2020 notice aka the "No Sail Notice."  Just looking at the Medical Management  "operational guidelines" articulating the level of staffing, skill set requirements for personnel, equipment requirements set forth by ACEP makes them lofty goals with questionable attainment.  I know of hospitals in the Unites States that cannot meet those requirements.  

 

In my humble opinion (with over 30 years) dealing with health car quality analytics and knowing the players, organizations and professionals involved, this is not an easy hurdle or one that can be done quickly.

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24 minutes ago, Travelcat2 said:

Since there has not been a pandemic in our lifetime, people tend to believe almost anything.  It is up to CC members to not state misleading information.

Jackie, I beg to differ. The Hong Kong Flu in 1968-1969 was a pandemic. It is estimated to have killed approximately1 million people worldwide, including about 500,000 people in Hong Kong. It was certainly in the lifetime of many of the posters on this board.

 

Dave

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8 minutes ago, DaveFr said:

Jackie, I beg to differ. The Hong Kong Flu in 1968-1969 was a pandemic. It is estimated to have killed approximately1 million people worldwide, including about 500,000 people in Hong Kong. It was certainly in the lifetime of many of the posters on this board.

 

Dave

 

I think that you should be officially known as the most learned member on the Regent board.  In all of these months, with posters also discussing this not happening in our lifetime - only you remembered and brought up.  According to Wikipedia, between 1 and 4 million people died globally.  Very interesting reading.

 

Thank you for bringing it up!

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Blunt statement from a Financial Times article today:

 

Cruise lines warn of ‘severe blow’ if social-distancing rules are imposed

 

    “One of the hallmarks of the cruise industry is that we always sail with full ships. It’s one of the basic tenets of our business model,” Frank Del Rio, chief executive of Norwegian Cruise Line, the third-largest cruise operator, told the Financial Times. Lower capacities “would be a severe blow” to financial performance, he added.

 

https://www.ft.com/content/7a4a0d2b-52b3-4a6d-a9ca-629fc093ce82

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Well Frank, get ready for social distancing requirements, at least for a while.

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55 minutes ago, RJ2002 said:

Blunt statement from a Financial Times article today:

 

Cruise lines warn of ‘severe blow’ if social-distancing rules are imposed

 

    “One of the hallmarks of the cruise industry is that we always sail with full ships. It’s one of the basic tenets of our business model,” Frank Del Rio, chief executive of Norwegian Cruise Line, the third-largest cruise operator, told the Financial Times. Lower capacities “would be a severe blow” to financial performance, he added.

 

https://www.ft.com/content/7a4a0d2b-52b3-4a6d-a9ca-629fc093ce82

 

Unfortunately, I was not able to read your linked article without subscribing.  Would you mind sharing the date of the article?  I do not disbelieve what you have posted but Frank Del Rio has made comments that make me question what he is saying now.  He knows that ships will temporarily have to sail with less capacity, passengers may have to social distance, and wear masks.  

 

I would like to ask FDR (and I could - but won't) whether it is more important to cruise with less than a full ship and with social distancing than not sailing until a vaccine is available for everyone.  

 

Cruise lines have already been dealt a severe blow.  Without getting political, it sounds as if the fact that the major cruise lines are not registered in the U.S. puts them at a distinct disadvantage at the moment.  One can only hope that this changes in the near future.

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1 hour ago, Travelcat2 said:

 

Unfortunately, I was not able to read your linked article without subscribing.  Would you mind sharing the date of the article?

 

I believe it was posted today.  I originally accessed it from Google News and was able to view it once, but not after that...  it's behind a paywall.   At the moment it is still showing on the FT page.

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I am not an "expert" but I was in medicine for 38 years.  I really believe we will have a vaccine in about late October or early November.  However, the medical field will get the shots first, and then the first responders (there are a lot) and then they will distribute it by age, the oldest first.  There is a possibility that if a person wants to go out of the country to get it, it will be available sooner, but here the oldest will be first and then the cruise lines will let people board who have had the vaccine.  There will be no other answer IN MY OPINION!  So stand by and take the ride!

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7 hours ago, Caroldoll said:

I am not an "expert" but I was in medicine for 38 years.  I really believe we will have a vaccine in about late October or early November.  However, the medical field will get the shots first, and then the first responders (there are a lot) and then they will distribute it by age, the oldest first.  There is a possibility that if a person wants to go out of the country to get it, it will be available sooner, but here the oldest will be first and then the cruise lines will let people board who have had the vaccine.  There will be no other answer IN MY OPINION!  So stand by and take the ride!

The reports in UK are of the numbers who are anti- vaccine : will that be a problem? Many appear to take the view its their right not to have to follow rules. Will Regent and the cruise lines have the "bottle" to refuse boarding to those without a vaccination certificate ? Will it hold in US law? Would they lose their money, as a result?

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8 hours ago, Caroldoll said:

I am not an "expert" but I was in medicine for 38 years.  I really believe we will have a vaccine in about late October or early November.  However, the medical field will get the shots first, and then the first responders (there are a lot) and then they will distribute it by age, the oldest first.  There is a possibility that if a person wants to go out of the country to get it, it will be available sooner, but here the oldest will be first and then the cruise lines will let people board who have had the vaccine.  There will be no other answer IN MY OPINION!  So stand by and take the ride!

The CDC presently has an advisory committee (a group of non-governmental subject matter experts) impaneled.  Preliminary results find that the classification is as follows:  1. Critical medical and national security officials; 2. essential workers and those considered at high risk (such as the elderly and those with preexisting conditions); 3. And this is the most controversial at this point, are those people who are disproportionately affected by the virus. 

 

In speaking with my infectious disease colleagues,  they have doubt of identifying, trialing, manufacturing and getting vaccines out to the public in such a expeditious way.   The real test will be the phase three trials which will look at safety and efficacy.  Something I did not know is that the company leading the charge, has never brought a successful vaccine to market.  Obviously there is much financial incentives for these companies (and there are several working on this)  to get a product to market, but unfortunately these things take time.  

 

I think the thing that really amazed me was that due to our dependence on foreign manufacturing, that even if 100's of million of doses were to be manufactured, the manufactures (pharma) do not even have the bottles necessary.  On the front line, experts question whether there would even be enough syringes (similar to the PPE problem).   

 

Since part of this public health issue has become a political, I would not be surprised if FDA just classifies whatever is developed  under a EUA, which would shield the manufactures from liability, and get something out before the election. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, GrJ Berkshire said:

The reports in UK are of the numbers who are anti- vaccine : will that be a problem? Many appear to take the view its their right not to have to follow rules. Will Regent and the cruise lines have the "bottle" to refuse boarding to those without a vaccination certificate ? Will it hold in US law? Would they lose their money, as a result?

Unfortunately even wearing a mask, which is the only thing we have in our arsenal at this point, has turned political.  A significant part of the population (some papers cite as up to 70 percent) would have to be immunized (and develop antibodies) to hope to tame this beast. 

 

In parts of the US, we have had breakouts of measles, mumps and rubella because of such anti-vaccination  issues.  In speaking with some of the younger pediatricians and emergency room docs, these are only diseases they read about in school, yet did not see during any of their training (residency).  

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