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About chengkp75

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About Me

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    Maine or at sea
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    Former cruise ship Chief Engineer

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  1. The CDC has stood by its recommendations for resuming sailing, right from the April 9th update to the no sail order. They list specific requirements needed to restart cruising, and require the cruise lines to promulgate "appropriate, actionable, and robust" plans to meet those requirements. So, the CDC has met its mandate in its area of expertise, infectious disease. Where is the cruise lines' "robust" and "actionable" plans in their area of expertise, operating cruise ships?
  2. They already did, in the April 9th update to the no sail order. This has not changed. What has not happened is the development of "appropriate, actionable, and robust" plans to meet the requirements. This is on the cruise lines.
  3. While this has been an increasing trend among young officers during my 45 years at sea, at least for US and European officers, there are always a few old timers onboard every ship, and for officers and crew from countries like India, Philippines, Indonesia, and the like, long term careers on all types of ships is common.
  4. No, most were married with children. It's just that to provide the lifestyle that they want (perhaps home ownership, or support for extended family), they make the sacrifice that all mariners make. If you take the life, you will lose out on many of "normal" life's milestones. I missed the deaths of both of my parents, and both of my wife's parents, and some of the kid's graduations and such.
  5. And, again, the CDC does not have any jurisdiction over what happens within a state. Unless you want them to operate outside the law, which is what many here accuse them of doing. That is the nature of our federal system of government. It is up to the state CDC's, or Department of Health, to enforce whatever mandates the state legislature or governor have enacted. The CDC has tried to use it's "interstate" jurisdiction to attempt to stop all evictions during the pandemic, somewhat stretching things to say that evictions "could lead" to interstate travel by infected persons. For this, they have been roundly criticized, and sued. Just because the President says that he and the federal government have ultimate authority over the states in the pandemic, doesn't make it true. The CDC can only control infectious diseases coming into the US, or between states.
  6. And, this folks, is what the CDC is worried about from the get go. They really don't care if you got infected before the cruise, or during the cruise, they only care about what happens after the cruise.
  7. Currently, St. Maarten requires a negative test within 5 days of arrival, and if you live or travel through a high or moderate risk country (the only countries St. Maarten considers low risk are Caribbean islands), you must have submitted an email register of daily temperature and symptoms for 14 days. What people don't understand is that all the protocols that have been submitted to the CDC are not the detailed action plans that are required, in writing, before the CDC will give the go ahead. So, whether the ship "practices" with their proposed protocols, they are not approved yet, so it may all come to naught.
  8. But those islands have to follow Bahamian law, and the Bahamas has just entered Phase 3 of opening on 10/15, and will not accept cruise passengers until they are in Phase 4.
  9. Everyone feels that the Healthy Sail board report is the blueprint for restarting cruises, but it is a general policy statement, and the CDC is looking for a response/action plan that gets right down into the "weeds" with details of how the policies are to be implemented. USCG requires a couple of hundred pages for the Vessel Response Plan (for oil spills), and the CDC's own VSP is 291 pages long. This is what the CDC has been waiting for. As for riding the ships to check on protocols, to be honest I don't think they hold much hope for compliance with this, based on the results on land in the US, so the major requirements they will be looking for are the medical facilities, the quarantine facilities, and the contracted private health care, transportation, and quarantine facilities, that the lines are proposing to use instead of the public health care system. These, and question/answer sessions with selected crew as to what their duties are, and checking record keeping, could all be done at a port inspection, just like their VSP inspections. Again, the CDC's mandate is not to keep passengers on foreign ships healthy, it is to prevent any ill passenger leaving that ship and infecting others.
  10. Not only are work visas more expensive, but the numbers available are limited, there are restrictions on why the foreign worker is needed, and the cruise line basically accepts sponsorship of the worker for the time they are in the US (fiscally and criminally).
  11. I don't see that the Pence override of the CDC's extension means that it will not be extended again, for a month or whatever, just that it would not be extended until February. It left open, at the time, for further consideration in the future. I have my suspicions that because the CDC issued a "request for information" period (which was not really for cruise passengers to comment on), that a permanent change in federal regulations is imminent (the no sail order specifically notes that the requirements are an "emergency order"), and that while a "no sail" order may expire, the CDC will still require all of the requirements of the no sail order to become the necessary requirements to obtain "pratique" or health clearance to enter US waters. It may well have been the CDC's idea to ask for a long extension, hoping that it would get a short one instead, just long enough to meet the time constraints of changing regulations. It is not yet understood whether the recommendations made by the Healthy Sail board meet the CDC's requirements, and further there doesn't seem to be any action/response plans submitted that detail how the ships will implement the Healthy Sail recommendations, and these detailed action plans are what the CDC is requiring.
  12. Not only the officers need to be fed, but the deck and engine ratings as well. In a minimum crew of about 100, there will be likely 20 "hotel" staff, manning the crew galley (cooking, dishwashing) and doing laundry. So, yes, there are the types of crew that CTI Jakarta employs currently onboard. However, a quick search around CTI shows that they also provide Indonesians for deck and engine rating positions as well as hotel staff.
  13. Yes, it would be the jurisdiction of the flag state, but many flag states (flags of convenience) have little or no desire to enforce their laws on ships of their flags. Also, there is no reason that any nation, whether it borders the sea or not, cannot give registry to a ship, merely for the registry fees. As for illegal activities, virtually any criminal activity, especially cyber ones, would benefit from being only 12 miles off the coast of a country, while not being subject to enforcement of laws like fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, hacking, etc, etc. This removes all threat of liability or punishment for any crime committed onboard.
  14. Not always Yes, I would foresee that maritime unions in the US, as well as other classes would join a suit immediately to know why foreign workers are being used in the US, and the existing US flag cruise lines would join wanting to know why they are required to meet the continued burden of US flag operations while the foreign flag cruise lines are allowed to operate in their market. That would be after a PVSA exemption, and a change to State department regulations on visas (I think it would be a stretch to think that a change to work visa regulations for foreign cruise ship crew could fall under "emergency" classification, short circuiting the time needed for a "request for information" period (sound familiar to the CDC?) in order to make a normal change to a regulation). Then, as noted, you have the states involved giving clearance.
  15. The crew are mostly deck and engine crew, with just a few galley hands to feed them and wash the dishes. They are doing what deck and engine do every day on a ship, whether there are passengers or not. Deck and engine are two of the most restrictive departments for going ashore in the best of times, so this is nothing new.
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