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  1. It went much smoother than I thought it would. I am glad ACL are stepping up and cruising before many others. We are ready to be cruising again and support there efforts. We just need to know what the rules are, what to expect, and don’t want to be taken advantage of in the name of Covid.
  2. We went on their excursions, but we walked into town by ourselves without any issues.
  3. We just got back from sailing the lower Mississippi on the Queen of the Mississippi. There was originally about 110 passengers per customer service about 3 weeks before cruise but only 38 actually boarded. Most cancelled due no vaccinations. The cruise was good. Great service. Food was mostly good. As for the excursions- we had signed up and paid for some premium excursions but when we got on board they were all cancelled except Graceland. They had 2 buses running small group excursions. The excursions were mostly good but some were challenging for some of our family members that had mobility issues so they couldn’t go. We wore our masks and had to social distance most times. Graceland VIP tour was not good for us due to the mobility challenges we faced. We had a great speaker on the Civil war daily and a lady that gave a few craft classes. Entertainment was a couple playing piano and a singer. There was cocktails every evening. Service was excellent all over the ship. We wore masks in public areas and took them off while dining or drinking. We had no problem boarding. They did a health screening-simple questions, and they did a rapid antigen test before we board the ship. This is my 1st cruise with ACL and overall I enjoyed it. However, I am still not happy with how ACL is not being transparent about mandating vaccinations, now I heard was through April 30th. All they say on the website is that they are” regularly communicating with guests about additional requirements like vaccinations and shoreside operating requirement” like cancelling many excursions without notifying us until we get on the ship. Disappointing But besides making Covid vaccinations mandatory for all passengers right now, I also found out that the crew is not vaccinated. I spoke with many of them and I was told that since they didn’t have there vaccines, the crew were not able to get off the ship -that they were “in a ship bubble”. I was surprised to hear this. I assumed that the crew would be vaccinated since they were mandating them for passengers. Well, I assumed wrong! As for the “ship bubble”, I saw crew mingling with the public on the shore, unloading delivery trucks and bringing supplies to the ship, and was told by a crew member that several of them got to go to Walmart for their personal supplies. They don’t mention this at all. I worry about this because they are only requiring 1st shot vaccine at least 2weeks before cruise for passengers. There is varying data on the effectiveness of the vaccine ranging from 52%-90% 2 weeks after 1st dose. Maybe it will be better with J&J vaccine. People are still vulnerable and even more so if you have unvaccinated crew that don’t truly stay in a bubble. I just think ACL needs to be more transparent about their current Covid policies and vaccination requirements for both crew and passengers, so passengers can consider the risks and make a true informed decision about whether they should go on their cruise or reschedule. My advice is call frequently about updates and don’t be surprised about any changes you find out about when you get on board. Everything they do is covered under there right to change anything due to Covid. Happy sailing!
  4. I went Walgreens to get my PCR test. I was going to get the molecular ID Now test that comes back in a couple hours, but they said not to it because it is a rapid Test and they don’t accept anything rapid. Which is crazy because that’s what Hawaii, Aruba, American Airlines and many more want. I sent the info on the test to their health & department about the Walgreens test and they later changed there website to say “Only molecular test results (such as a PCR test) will be accepted.” I hadn’t got a response so I went ahead a got a regular PCR swab and I had the results in 2 days. I didn’t pay anything. In Oklahoma, Walgreens doesn’t charge. They bill your insurance and they have vouchers for free tests. When I got to the ship I was tested again using a rapid antigen test. That took about 15 min.
  5. We just got off Queen of Mississippi. You had to upload your Pre-Covid test results online. You will need to show your vaccine card on arrival at ship. They will give you a brief health screening questionnaire to fill out and they will give you a Covid rapid antigen test. We were told to go to our cabin and they would come let us know when the test results were back. They brought us welcome drinks telling us our test was negative.
  6. We board the Queen of the Mississippi tomorrow. We shall see how it goes...
  7. Today ACL contacted me and asked me if the 4 remaining people in our family were planning on canceling our cruises and wanted refunds. We all discussed it over the weekend and spite our anger for what ACL has done, we have decided to still go. This is our 3rd rebooking and my mom and uncle are concerned with their advancing age and health issues that they might not be able to go if we rebook in the fall. So I told them we were going. She told me that ACL would issue full refund of the voucher in a check, not a credit. I asked why the website still said the Covid vaccine was recommended and not mandatory and that no announcement has been made? She just said they were working to notify the passengers that wouldn’t be able to go. I also asked if we will have to show proof of vaccination and she said yes, it will be mandatory. I asked to when they were going to notify passengers to bring there vaccination cards? Well I got the same response, we are working on it. She told me not to worry If our PCR tests doesn’t come back in time, the doctor will perform the Covid antigen test on you so can board. So Friday, I am told by customer service that the Walgreens ID Now NAAT molecular test that is highly accurate, will not be accepted and that I would not be able to board the ship, but now if my PCR is not back when I board that they will have the doctor screen me and use a rapid antigen test that has a higher incidence of false negatives, and if negative I could board. Sometimes I just don’t understand the logic. Anyways, I was able to talk to someone who was checked out my story. They told her that mandatory vaccines only applied to sailing before April 10th. They never mentioned that to me. So for basically a month trial with only vaccinated passengers??? And they said they made written contact with passengers, we still have yet to receive a letter. https://www.travelweekly.com/River-Cruising/American-Cruise-Lines-requires-passenger-vaccination
  8. I have not been told that I need to bring proof of vaccination, only proof of Covid PCR. I have a no idea if anyone on the Jazz or Independence were required to have vaccine. In fact, I was hoping that there would be others that would post that they heard the same thing or were told they needed the vaccine, but everything is silent. Maybe my brother is the only one? Strange that there has not been any “breaking news”, “Another cruise ship makes Covid vaccinations mandatory” Everything is hush hush!
  9. I spoke with ACL customer service reps Serena, Amy, Lisa & Jeff. Also Becky a supervisor. I originally called last night to clarify the Covid test requirements because they told my brother/sister-in-law that the Walgreens Rapid ID Now test was now acceptable. They called me because I am in the medical field and they didn’t understand the test. Our pre-board paperwork says PCR or molecular test. Walgreens has ID NOW NAAT molecular test used for airlines and travel. We had to use it to go to Hawaii last month. ACL customer reps just kept saying no, it has to be PCR. Anything that says rapid is not acceptable. I tried to show them that it was a molecular test but all they said was “if you show up with that test you will be denied boarding”. I asked what would happen if our PCR was not back in time because they have getting on the ship the day before we cruise now and they said “If that happens the doctor will perform a rapid antigen test on you so you can board the ship.” I asked, so why spend the money on the PCR if I can get a Rapid Antigen by to doctor and they said, “because it is required”. I told them that that didn’t make sense, but that didn’t matter. They didn’t have a logical answer and just kept reading what they are told to say. Very frustrating!! Here is some good info from the FDA about the tests and level of accuracy. The antigen test is less accurate with more false negatives result.
  10. After speaking with multiple customer service reps I asked for Supervisor. Of course, Friday afternoon no one available. I requested to stay on hold till she found one. After a long hold I gave up. I was at work and couldn’t hang on the phone. But about 20min later I got a call from a supervisor Becky in Utah. She told me that ACL made the decision last Tuesday and they were trying to contact everyone. She said she was sorry and I asked if my brother got his vaccine on Saturday-(he was on a wait list) could he go? She said no. She said he had to be vaccinated 2 weeks. I told her about the other customer service telling me only 1 week, and she said she is wrong. She said ACL has the right to change their policies at anytime and that there only concern is for the welfare and safety of there passengers, blah, blah, blah. So they cancelled his reservation last night. They said to call back Monday about a refund. The lady told my brother he should get a refund even though it was a cruise voucher because ACL will deny him boarding. We will see if that is true. My brother has been trying to get his vaccine but hasn’t been eligible. His group doesn’t open till the 22nd. Today he was called a told they had some leftover vaccine and he was able to get his 1st shot. Unfortunately, a little too late. Oh also, he had Covid and had documentation of his treatment. They didn’t care about that! Even today, ACL website does not say anything about mandatory vaccines. The Jazz was suppose to sail today, I hadn’t heard anything. I am a healthcare provider and I have my vaccination. There was 6 or us going on this cruise all with vaccinations except my brother who had Covid late last year. He has natural immunity but that isn’t good enough for ACL even though there website and our Pre-board info says “Covid vaccine is recommended” I am happy that the cruise lines are requiring vaccinations. I strongly feel this was handled very wrong!!! ACL made a decision abruptly last Tuesday, not in line with the other cruise companies American Steamboat, and Victory starting July 1st, and RCL & Celebrity on there June cruises. However no announcement anywhere. Not on there website, Facebook, Twitter, or on any search on google. Just my brother being told he is no welcome aboard, humm.....
  11. We are suppose to sail on the Queen of the Mississippi next week. I called to get some info today about the Covid testing and found out that they just decided that vaccinations were mandatory now. Unfortunately, my brother is not vaccinated because he is not eligible in his state. They said sorry he can’t go. No letter, no email, just a oh by the way your brother will not be allowed on the boat. It would of been nice if he would of been told. They just said, oh sorry, someone was suppose to notify him. They called last week to tell us that we would be staying on the boat on Friday instead of a hotel and confirmed flight info. They asked about vaccinations, and said they encouraged them but not mandatory at this time. So FYI, VACCINATIONS ARE NOW MANDATORY AS OF LAST TUESDAY!
  12. We had 2 Lower Mississippi cruises ahead of our on 3/27 that were cancelled already. They told me the first cruise for ACL will be the Independence this weekend, the Jazz on the 21st, then our cruise Queen of Mississippi on the 27th. So I am just waiting to see how it goes. I asked them about to what happens if someone pops + on the ship. She said they have hotels at every port for quarantining and she couldn’t answer about who has to quarantine. She said it is determined on a case by case basis and whether you are vaccinated. It wasn’t clear. We are waiting to see how it goes with the 2 cruises before us, but we are thinking about rescheduling again.
  13. We are scheduled to cruise out of New Orleans on Mar 26. We were sent all our boarding info and to pick our shore excursions. I talked to them an they said they were sailing about 75% full. I think she said 110 passengers. They said they had a doctor on board, could do Covid tests and isolate anyone positive. We have to get a Covid test within 4 days of sailing. I am sure there was a lot more but off the top of my head, those were the main things. Of course, masks and socially distancing. There are 2 cruises before us, so we can see how it goes😊
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