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  1. You did not include the entire quote from the article. The entire quote is as follows: This experiment did not include N95 masks and does not reflect the actual transmission of infection from patients with COVID-19 wearing different types of masks. We do not know whether masks shorten the travel distance of droplets during coughing. Further study is needed to recommend whether face masks decrease transmission of virus from asymptomatic individuals or those with suspected COVID-19 who are not coughing. In conclusion, both surgical and cotton masks seem to be ineffective in preventing the dissemination of SARS–CoV-2 from the coughs of patients with COVID-19 to the environment and external mask surface". Furthermore, this paragraph from the article is of equal importance: This experiment did not include N95 masks and does not reflect the actual transmission of infection from patients with COVID-19 wearing different types of masks. We do not know whether masks shorten the travel distance of droplets during coughing. Further study is needed to recommend whether face masks decrease transmission of virus from asymptomatic individuals or those with suspected COVID-19 who are not coughing Deliberately leaving off the final portion of the last - and key - sentence certainly would seem to be an attempt to distort or misreport the findings. Why did you choose to do that? From my reading, it appears that the researchers measured the amount of covid-19 (the viral load) left on the interior and exterior of the mask as the dependent variable in a test involving three independent test coughing scenarios. Four subjects who each were Covid-10 positive coughed into a close-up petri dish without a mask, with a surgical mask, and with a cloth mask. What the researchers concluded was that some particles made their way through to the exterior of the masks and into the petri dish. But, as noted in that final portion of the sentence which you failed to include was that the researchers did not measure the extent to which a mask deterred the projection of infectious particles into the air well beyond the close-up petri dish. Thus, they have no idea what percentage of the potential infectious dosage was released from the test patients well beyond the WHO standard of 3 feet or the CDC standard of 6 feet. Furthermore, coughing is a violent act of forceful exhalation that causes particles to go further. But, researchers have found that Covid-19 can be spread by the simple exhaling of air by infected patients as they breathe. Perhaps a mask might be more effective in blocking particles exhaled from basic breathing than violently expelled particles. The reality is that a mask is not a panacea. It is but one of the respective measures we can take to deter the spread of Covid-19 along with social distancing, hand washing, etc. In fact, it is entirely plausible that a mask does not totally eliminate the projection of infectious particles but it may significantly reduce the size and intensity of the infection zone surrounding an infected individual.
  2. So, it seems it could be a civil suit brought under the auspices of maritime law, not a criminal charge...correct? Thanks for clarifying. That makes more sense now.
  3. If the crew signed contracts containing a non-disclosure clause then whatever are the terms of that clause could be enforced. I assume that would include immediate firing and possibly other civil consequences. I can respect NCL's desire not to have information leaked that may be detrimental to the company but I do not understand how the crew members could be subject to criminal prosecution by "shoreside authorities". Unless I am totally missing some arcane maritime law of which I am not aware, I don't see how violating the terms of an employment contract with a private company (especially one that is incorporated in Bermuda as is NCL, I believe) could lead to criminal charges in the U.S. What specific law would a crew member have violated by posting something on Facebook or Instagram?
  4. I agree. In fact, I couldn't help but notice that NCL's numbers reported no deaths despite the news reports of a woman from central Florida who contracted Covid-19 and became ill while aboard a NCL cruise. She died shortly after returning from the cruise. https://www.hickeylawfirm.com/blog/ncl-passenger-says-company-has-not-informed-passengers-of-her-sisters-coronavirus-diagnosis https://www.wesh.com/article/its-been-horrible-central-florida-womans-twin-sister-dies-after-falling-ill-on-cruise-ship/32295070 It's always important to consider the source of the data and how it was collected when assessing the validity of any research study/report. Here is a link to the methodology used by the Miami Herald in preparing the chart. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bYPc4HesZ7vrbtbeNEGWHo2MqQdfRc6IXYe2rGoMV_I/edit The description of the methodology notes the limitations in available tests on ships and the dependence on self-reporting as critical factors. [e.g. "COVID-19 tests were not available on cruise ships until after the industry halted all new cruises on March 13."] As others have noted, the stats in the chart are a reflection of the numbers of passengers who tested positive. If you test only ten passengers, your reported numbers are going to be quite low. If you test 1000 passengers, the numbers are likely to be higher based on some current estimates that up to 15% of the US population may have antibodies for Covid-19. I also have to assume that some passengers were infected but asymptomatic as well as others who experienced lesser symptoms but many of those saw no reason, or were reluctant, to seek medical help or testing or to subsequently report their condition to the Miami Herald or the CDC. Same with people who developed symptoms after they disembarked. I am not contending there is some sort of vast corporate conspiracy here. I certainly can appreciate the difficult position in which the cruise lines must have found themselves. Given the paucity of available tests, the dependence on self-referral for testing or treatment, and rapidly changing information about Covid-19 transmission and treatment, cruise ship healthcare professionals no doubt were operating with insufficient equipment and knowledge as passengers fell ill. I also believe that the numbers may, indeed, accurately reflect what was known by the cruise lines... but how much did they not know? Before accepting the value of the numbers in any chart, one really has to consider the accuracy of the source of that data and confounding factors. In my opinion, knowing that some cases of which I was aware (noted above) are not included in the numbers and understanding the limitations of relying upon self-reporting, I would be hesitant to accept the statistics presented in the Miami Herald chart as a comprehensive and accurate assessment of the Covid-19 situation aboard cruise ships. I understand that others may disagree.
  5. We all know that the world is experiencing both a health pandemic and an economic crisis. I have to imagine that, just as many of us are feeling the crunch, so too are the cruise lines in a difficult position. Which ones have enough available cash to refund everyone's payments without bankrupting the company or driving it into an oppressive debt burden? I assume that is why MSC is offering the 125% FCC. If they can entice enough passengers to opt for the larger amount for a future cruise, they won't have to drain their accounts or borrow money to pay out the cash refunds now. While I am a big fan of MSC, the cynic in me does wonder if they will simply raise prices by 25% to render that additional "bonus" moot. Still, I very much want MSC to survive and certainly intend to use my FCC to book when it seems safe to do so.
  6. No. I've checked my CC statement and there hasn't been any sort of refund from MSC.
  7. We submitted a FCC request on March 10th for a March 13th cruise on Divina that we decided to cancel due to pandemic related concerns. Although we received the initial email with our FCC Request number and were told we'd receive the FCC in about 14 days, we've heard nothing since.
  8. At the bottom of the NCL website, there are links to a variety of cruiseline related sites and matters. One of those is labeled "Guest Ticket Contract". https://www.ncl.com/sites/default/files/NCL_Guest_Ticket_Contract_041818.pdf The document at that link is titled "NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE Guest Ticket Contract". As you noted, the date of that version is April 2018 so it does not appear to be new. I've pasted section 6. The last sentence in that section seems to be to what the OP was seeking to draw CC readers' attention. 6. Vessel and Voyage: (a) Risk of Travel: The Guest admits and acknowledges that travel by ocean-going vessel occasionally presents risks and circumstances that may be beyond the ability of the Carrier to reasonably control or mitigate. The Guest's understanding includes all risks of travel, transportation, and handling of Guests and baggage. Except as provided in paragraph 6(f), the Guest therefore assumes the risk of and releases the Carrier from any injury, loss, or damage whatsoever arising from, caused by, or in the judgment of the Carrier or Master rendered necessary or advisable by reason of: any act of God or public enemies; force majeure; arrest; restraints of governments or their departments or under color of law; piracy; war; revolution; extortion; terrorist actions or threats; hijacking; bombing; threatened or actual rebellion, insurrection, or civil strife; fire, explosion, collision, stranding or grounding; weather conditions; docking or 4/2018 anchoring difficulty; congestion; perils of the sea, rivers, canals, locks or other waters; perils of navigation of any kind; lack of water or passageway in canals; theft; accident to or from machinery, boilers, or latent defects (even though existing at embarkation or commencement of voyages); barratry; desertion or revolt of the crew; seizure of ship by legal process; strike, lockout or labor disturbance (regardless whether such strike, lockout or labor disturbance results from a dispute between the Carrier and its employees or any other parties); or from losses of any kind beyond the Carrier's control. Under any such circumstances the voyage may be altered, shortened, lengthened, or cancelled in whole or part without liability to the Carrier for a refund or otherwise. Is it your opinion that this section does or does not release NCL from any responsibility to issue a refund if the ship is unable to sail for a reason NCL deems to be beyond it's control such as a Force Majeure? To me, it seems to read that NCL would not have to issue a refund to passengers in the event NCL was unable to sail due to all of the listed reasons. However, I may not be understanding it correctly. Thanks for clarifying.
  9. While the research is evolving every day, at this point the evidence strongly suggests that people who have the virus but are asymptomatic are transmitting it to others. In fact, there even is some anecdotal evidence that those who are infected are most contagious the day or two prior to symptom onset. Given this likely possibility of transmission ( the estimated rate is that 2.5 people are infected by each carrier) by individuals who do not present with symptoms, releasing passengers who are known to have been in some degree of contact with others who have tested positive and declaring them free to come and go as they please predicated on the assumption they are not infected is irresponsible. Since you asked, I believe the prudent thing to do is to negotiate with the US government to identify a port that will agree to allow the ship to disembark passengers on the condition of a mandatory quarantine for 14 days after which those who manifest no illness are free to go. Frankly, the question of whether the US has an obligation to accept non- citizens must also be considered. Other nations may need to be involved in the negotiations.
  10. According to the Business Insider article: "The chances that anyone will become ill from well guests is very low," it said. "There is a higher chance of becoming ill traveling through an airport to get home than there is on the ship." It also said that once at the port in the United States, the "well guests" would be "allowed to freely disembark go to a hotel or fly home with no restrictions." Sure, just dump them in Florida and let them go. What could go wrong there? Apparently, Carnival and Holland America officers haven't heard that people who are asymptomatic spread the disease. This from the same company officials who managed the Diamond Princess...and look how well that one went?
  11. Glad to hear you are enjoying the cruise! Sounds like MSC adapted quickly to the changing circumstances to create a positive experience for the passengers.
  12. Thanks for the updates. Sounds like MSC is working "on the fly" to try to create a decent cruise experience for the guests. No doubt, some passengers appreciate the effort and some are frustrated because the revised itinerary so greatly deviates from the intended one. These are precarious times...
  13. Does anyone know how the current Divina cruise is going? We were scheduled to be on it but due to concerns stemming from being in a high risk group for corona, we decided the prudent thing to do would be to cancel and take the future cruise credit option. The people with whom we corresponded on the roll call were delightful so we truly hope it is going well. However, based on some things we've read online [https://www.cruisehive.com/complex-requirements-forces-cruise-ships-to-cancel-san-juan/38445] , it seems that the Divina may not have been allowed to dock in San Juan but was, instead, heading to Great Stirrup Caye. And, it also seems that Tortola is not allowing ships to dock for 30 days . [ http://www.virginislandsdailynews.com/day-cruise-ship-ban-among-series-of-bvi-s-coronavirus/article_2d42539d-1f67-582e-8e4c-5da893cd8466.html ]. Not sure about St. Maarten. In spite of any such challenges, we do hope they are managing to have a good time.
  14. In August, we bid on an upgrade from a Bella balcony to the YC on Seaside. It was accepted. Once aboard, we received a YC card and all of the YC benefits including drinks in bars throughout the ship, all the gelato we could eat, etc.
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