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CDC extends no-sail order for cruises until Oct. 1

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This is the CDC NSO extension document.

 

Reading between the lines of the CDC document gives a fascinating, but disturbing, insight into the dynamics between CDC officials and the cruise lines.

I was struck by the action of some companies to remove their ships from US jurisdiction. I quote:

"By July 10, 2020, cruise ship operators had reduced the number of cruise ships they proposed to operate in U.S. waters to approximately 49 ships, with some operators choosing to temporarily withdraw all ships remaining in U.S. waters"

"On May 24 and again on June 3, 2020, Carnival Corporation communicated to CDC that none of its operating companies had any ships in U.S. waters, nor did they expect to have any ships returning to U.S. waters before the end of the NSO period"

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BTW, the WP has a limit of 1 free article. Just clear your browser cache and click the link again, if they ask you for money!

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flossie and all,

 

Thanks for making this order available on this board. The crux of the message to cruise operators seems to be "if you can't keep limited crew onboard alive and healthy, CDC doubts that you can keep passengers alive and healthy". And you don't even need to read between the lines. It is right there in print. Also the CDC states its recognition of something we all should have realized by now. There is a basic disconnect between the environment on a cruise ship and the prevention of Covid 19. I fear we will all be "land lubbers" for a long while!

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I am befuddled......

1- The group that  was hired for NCLH and RCL said it would be a few months for their report to be completed... why so long? They are not writing a novel. 
2- The CDC seemed in no rush to do anything...they are not happy with certain lines that had serious problems (Regent did not have these problems). 
3- Regent posted a list on their website as to how they would handle Covid on their ships.... 
4- Is anyone talking to anyone??

so confused.... 

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54 minutes ago, Bellaggio Cruisers said:

Regent did not have these problems

This will not matter a bit to the CDC.  No line is going to get special permission to open sooner than the others.  They are all slow walking the resumption of cruising because the pandemic is still out of control, and in that context it is dangerous to be on a ship.  All it takes is one asymptomatic carrier, or exposure on a shore excursion, to cause ship-wide problems on any cruise line.  I don't like that reality any more than you do.

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The only advantage a line like Regent may have is in the area of passenger social distancing (if that is an issue  with the CDC), because Regent had a much less crowded environment for passengers than most lines before the pandemic. But I know nothing of Regent’s environment for the crew. 

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The increased space on Regent ships might mean that they won't have to cut their capacity as much as the mass markets to meet new guidelines, but it won't get them sailing any sooner than the other lines.  And maybe it will help cut down on the transmission rate once the virus gets on board, which is a good thing.  But it won't prevent the virus from getting on board.

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1 hour ago, Travelcat2 said:

 

Politics are against CC guidelines and this is why I avoid them.  I did not make any political statements.  If you feel that discussing the CDC is political, it is on you - not me.

 

No, sorry, you don't avoid them. You just made political points in your prior posts as SusieQft well pointed out. We're not dummies and dont need for you to spell it out for us to get it. Just stop proselytizing and dictating. Marc's point of view is as valid as yours ( and frankly, given the way things are going, makes much, more sense. Seems to me he's more grounded on reality). 

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All I can say is that I know as a fact that Regent is not “afraid” to sail.  They have made preparations and are ready to go when the CDC approves ships to sail.  So, you are agreeing with something that is not true but you are certainly entitled to your opinion.

 

Sometimes people change their minds based on information that may not have been available previously.  I was against the CDC for a long time ... until I realized that their hands have been tied.  

 

In any case, my opinion is my opinion - whether anyone agrees with it or not.  

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8 hours ago, Bellaggio Cruisers said:

I am befuddled......

1- The group that  was hired for NCLH and RCL said it would be a few months for their report to be completed... why so long? They are not writing a novel. 
2- The CDC seemed in no rush to do anything...they are not happy with certain lines that had serious problems (Regent did not have these problems). 
3- Regent posted a list on their website as to how they would handle Covid on their ships.... 
4- Is anyone talking to anyone??

so confused.... 

 

According to what I have heard (from a reliable source) is that the CDC is not communicating with the cruise lines in terms of responding to their proposals.  It is common sense that the protocols are not one size fits all.  The CDC should pay attention to the cruise lines that did have cases of Covid-19 (as discussed in the article).  And if some cruise lines or ships do not meet the protocols, they should not be permitted to sail until they are approved to do so (and it may not be the same time that others get approval to sail). It is more or less like the repatriation cruises.  Some ships could sail (designated green) and others could not (designated red).  

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The desperation on the Regent board is becoming palpable.

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4 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

All I can say is that I know as a fact that Regent is not “afraid” to sail.  They have made preparations and are ready to go when the CDC approves ships to sail.  So, you are agreeing with something that is not true but you are certainly entitled to your opinion.

I would like to know how you can state this as a fact. I’m sure Regent wants to sail but there is no way that they are ready to sail because they don’t even know what the rules will be. They themselves are working to develop those standards and protocols to present to the CDC sometime in the future. So saying any cruise line is ready to sail is ludicrous. Desperation breeds illusions.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, SusieQft said:

This will not matter a bit to the CDC.  No line is going to get special permission to open sooner than the others.  They are all slow walking the resumption of cruising because the pandemic is still out of control, and in that context it is dangerous to be on a ship.  All it takes is one asymptomatic carrier, or exposure on a shore excursion, to cause ship-wide problems on any cruise line.  I don't like that reality any more than you do.

 

While we are all speculating, I believe Susie is correct.  For the CDC, it will be a "one size fits all" solution.  I know CCL ships have come under fire as being the poster child for COVID-19 on ships, but CCL--as the largest cruise line in the world--will tell you it had fewer per capita cases than other lines.  Statistically, as the largest cruise line it would also be expected to have the largest gross number affected.  (From CCL conference with financial analysts on 10 July as posted on Princess board:  Carnival Corp ships had less than their market share of Covid-19 incidents, but being the largest company received the most media attention..)

 

Here is a chart showing cases reported on ships around the world.  It is not 100-percent accurate nor current--the two cases on Navigator were later determined to have been false positives as the ship traveled to repatriate officers and crews.  But it does serve to underline the point that the CDC will not likely allow any ocean-going ship to sail before others.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_pandemic_on_cruise_ships#Summary_of_confirmed_cases_on_board

 

 

Edited by loriva
Edited to add source for statement on CCL ships and COVID-19.

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14 hours ago, Bellaggio Cruisers said:

The CDC seemed in no rush to do anything...they are not happy with certain lines that had serious problems (Regent did not have these problems).

 

13 hours ago, SusieQft said:

This will not matter a bit to the CDC.  No line is going to get special permission to open sooner than the others. 

 

6 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

if some cruise lines or ships do not meet the protocols, they should not be permitted to sail until they are approved to do so

 

As others have said it is highly unlikely that the CDC would take a more benign attitude towards one cruise line rather than another.

Also, from the CDC's latest No Sail Order it appears that they do not perceive NCLH or Regent to be "squeaky clean"; I quote from page 9:

"On May 22, 2020, CDC sent a Notice of Potential Non-Compliance with the No Sail Order to Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (NCLH). The notice stated that CDC had become aware of reports of alleged non-compliance on several NCLH cruise ships including the Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Joy, Oceania Marina, and Seven Seas Navigator."

"On July 2, 2020, CDC sent NCLH an additional notice requesting that it take immediate corrective action to align its practices with the April 15, 2020 Extension and CDC’s Interim Guidance."

 

Rather than comparing one cruise company with another I would be more interested in how the cruise sector compares with other companies in the travel & hospitality industry regarding the potential for virus transmission.

Are the CDC and other regulatory bodies being as pedantic and bureaucratic with airlines, hotels, restaurants & bars? 

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This will not solely resolve with an agreed upon document from CDC and the cruise line industry, a vaccine/immunization nor will the virus magically disappear.   Eventually CDC and the involved parties will come to a mutually agreed upon plan to address CDC's issues.  As I have said before, once the agreed upon criteria is enacted, then the real hard work starts.  This will not be a matter of putting up a piece of Plexiglas or moving a few tables.

 

My entire life has been involved with both at the Federal level and upon retirement in the private sector dealing with health care quality analytics.  In the April 15th CFR notice, the following appears:

 

 "Onboard medical staffing, including number and type of staff, and equipment in sufficient quantity to provide a hospital level of care (e.g., ventilators, facemasks, personal protective equipment) for the infected without the need for hospitalization onshore;"

 

Although this may sound manageable, to execute such a task is not an easy one.  Over the years I have had the opportunity to either dine with the medical staff and/or get a tour of shipboard medical facilities.  The level of care as articulated in the April 15 CFR notice, is one of an ICU level of care.  This would require Physicians and Nurses with the appropriate level of training to handle tasks such as multiple patients on ventilators, etc.  In the United States this is primarily done by Critical Care Intensivists or Pulmonary Critical Care Physicians.

 

A few things that come to mind when I think of the many conversations I have had with shipboard physicians over the years.  Many are there for the same reason many of the workers are on the ships.  They come from countries with low pay, low employment prospects and need to support a family.  Most I have spoken with have usually been trained within general medical specialties (equivalent to Family and/or Internal Medical trained physicians in the US). 

 

Another issue, is the smaller ships (according to ACEP) usually have only one Physician and between one to two Nurses. Note that many cruiselines belong to ACEP, but the physicians staffing the ships are not.  Within the United States we have a tremendous shortage of critical care physicians.  Granted that the cruiseships historically do not hire US physicians (due to cost).  So the question is, where do all of the cruiselines get all of the Critical Care and trained Physicians and Nurses?  

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5 minutes ago, flossie009 said:

 

 

 

As others have said it is highly unlikely that the CDC would take a more benign attitude towards one cruise line rather than another.

Also, from the CDC's latest No Sail Order it appears that they do not perceive NCLH or Regent to be "squeaky clean"; I quote from page 9:

"On May 22, 2020, CDC sent a Notice of Potential Non-Compliance with the No Sail Order to Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (NCLH). The notice stated that CDC had become aware of reports of alleged non-compliance on several NCLH cruise ships including the Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Joy, Oceania Marina, and Seven Seas Navigator."

"On July 2, 2020, CDC sent NCLH an additional notice requesting that it take immediate corrective action to align its practices with the April 15, 2020 Extension and CDC’s Interim Guidance."

 

Rather than comparing one cruise company with another I would be more interested in how the cruise sector compares with other companies in the travel & hospitality industry regarding the potential for virus transmission.

Are the CDC and other regulatory bodies being as pedantic and bureaucratic with airlines, hotels, restaurants & bars? 

I think each sector has their own unique issues in dealing with an aerosolized virus such as COVID-19.  A cruise ship has many more unique challenges than a restaurant or hotel.   

 

The one big difference between airlines, hotels, restaurants or bars is one of their employees are not going to be your doctor (at least we hope so lol) when a medical crisis arises.  

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3 minutes ago, flossie009 said:

Rather than comparing one cruise company with another I would be more interested in how the cruise sector compares with other companies in the travel & hospitality industry regarding the potential for virus transmission.

Are the CDC and other regulatory bodies being as pedantic and bureaucratic with airlines, hotels, restaurants & bars? 

 

Not sure if any study has been done yet focused on the different sectors of the travel and hospitality industry, but this study paints a grim picture of transmission on a ship:

https://www.sciencefocus.com/news/covid-19-asymptomatic-in-over-80-per-cent-of-ceases-cruise-ship-study-finds/

 

Speculation--again speculation--is also that COVID-19 is spreading so rapidly in states that reopened indoor dining, bars, gyms, etc. and are also experiencing the highest summer temperatures.  As outside temps increase, more people congregate inside where air conditioning systems are recirculating the virus.

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22 minutes ago, howiefrommd said:

 "Onboard medical staffing, including number and type of staff, and equipment in sufficient quantity to provide a hospital level of care (e.g., ventilators, facemasks, personal protective equipment) for the infected without the need for hospitalization onshore;"

 

I simply do not understand why a cruise ship should be required to provide that level of medical facility.

Surely it is better to get an infected person off the ship to a properly equipped & staffed hospital. Exactly the same as would be done with a passenger or crew member who had any other life threatening medical condition e.g. a heart attack, appendicitis or serious injury.

We seem to be retreating to the attitude of those in the Middle Ages with their fear of plague ships.

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Posted (edited)

That I have no answer or idea.  This and many other potential changes, policies and/or procedures is why there will not be a quick fix.  When you look at some of the PR materials that was sent out by the cruiselines (most of them) they all talk about increased sanitation, increased training, more staffing, etc.  Believe me this is not the type of response that will get the regulators rolling on this.  Quantifiable, measurable, actionable response is what will make this move forward.   

Edited by howiefrommd
spelling correction

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8 minutes ago, flossie009 said:

 

We seem to be retreating to the attitude of those in the Middle Ages with their fear of plague ships.

 

Some would consider the study of past history "lessons learned."

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If this is the case, why are we letting planes fly? Hotels open?  Cruising is the same to me.

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