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RC Ltd bans all passengers with Chinese, HK or Macau passports


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Here is the latest letter, dated 2/7/2020:

 

February 7, 2020


Dear Azamara Guest,
 
We hope this email finds you well and looking forward to your upcoming cruise departing this month. We recently shared our new travel protocols in place and with the fluidity of travel restrictions, we have an update to share.
 
We continue to closely monitor global developments regarding the coronavirus, and we are fully focused on protecting the health and safety of our guests and crew. Our ultimate goal is to provide a great vacation experience while we maintain your health, safety and comfort. We continue to consult with medical experts and public health authorities. Now, in alignment with new, stricter CDC protocols, plus changes in various countries’ requirements and regulations – we are implementing the following changes.
 
Until further notice, all ships in the Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Family of brands will adopt these health screening protocols:
1.    Regardless of nationality, any guest or crewmember traveling from, to, or through mainland China, Hong Kong, or Macau less than 15 days prior to their sailing will be unable to board any of our ships.
2.    Any guests holding a Chinese, Hong Kong, or Macau passport, regardless of residency or when they were there last, will not be allowed to board our ships.
3.    Any guest or crewmember that has been in contact (which the CDC defines as 6 feet or 2 meters) with someone that has traveled from, to, or through mainland China, Hong Kong, or Macau less than 15 days prior to their sailing, will also be unable to board any of our ships.
4.    Additionally, the following travelers will be required to complete mandatory specialized health screenings and depending on results, may also be denied boarding:
a.    Guests who are unsure if they have been in contact with individuals who have traveled from, to or through mainland China, Hong Kong, or Macau in the past 15 days;
b.    Guests who report feeling unwell or demonstrate any flu-like symptoms;
c.    Any guest presenting with fever or low blood oximetry in the specialized health screening will be denied boarding.
 
We know that these steps are conservative, and we apologize that they will inconvenience some of our guests. We regret to have to do this, but it is our responsibility to maintain a safe and healthy environment onboard our ships, as well as in the ports we visit.

 

It is imperative that all guests check their air travel itinerary closely to ensure they do not transit through any gateway in China, Hong Kong, or Macau. Guests who have air travel booked through Azamara in any of these gateways will be re-accommodated on alternate routes and receive new flight information automatically. Guests with independent air travel arrangements need to contact their air carriers directly to make all required adjustments and changes to their air travel. We’re pleased to offer you up to $500 reimbursement to cover airfare change fees so that you can still enjoy your upcoming vacation with us. 

 

In the event that you arrive at the pier and do not pass the required health screening, you will receive a 100% refund for your cruise, and any prepaid items such as land packages or shore excursions, purchased via Azamara. If your air travel is booked through Azamara, your alternative air arrangements will be handled by our team. 

 

If you or someone in your stateroom holds a Chinese, Hong Kong, or Macau passport, or has traveled or been in close contact with someone that has traveled from, to, or through mainland China, Hong Kong, or Macau, please contact your Travel Advisor immediately, or contact us at 1-855-AZAMARA or visit https://www.azamara.com/contact-usfor your local Azamara office phone number.
 
Onboard our ships, we continue to take numerous proactive steps to maintain high health standards. This includes:
•    Thoroughly sanitizing the cruise ship terminal before and after every sailing,
•    Special sanitizing of high traffic areas onboard multiple times a day,
•    Providing complimentary consultations with medical experts for guests & crew experiencing flu-like symptoms 
•    Plus, the Captain will make daily announcements during your cruise reminding everyone of how to stay healthy onboard.  
  
And remember, if you’re experiencing flu-like symptoms while you’re onboard, it’s imperative that you immediately visit our medical facility for a complimentary checkup.  Our onboard doctors and nurses are always ready to assist. Your safety and well-being are always our top priorities, but we also want you to have an amazing time. Stay clean, stay healthy, stay happy and remember to always use the Azamara Fist Bump when greeting others onboard!
 
Lastly, should we have to make any changes to our newly implemented travel regulation, we will let you and your Travel Advisor know immediately. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

 

Sincerely,
AZAMARA®  

 


 

Coronavirus_Guest_Feb 7th_Advisory.pdf

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30 minutes ago, dkjretired said:


This is different from that press release

 

Yes, I am well aware it is a different press release, but I posted that Bonnie had posted information on the topic of your post on Monday :

 

" Regardless of nationality, we will deny boarding to . . . . All holders of China, Hong Kong and Macau passports."

 

Since our posts I see Bonnie has now posted an update dated 7 February.

Edited by Baynanno1
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I am not comfortable with the "regardless of residency" aspect. One could have been living in the US as an accountant for ten years and not been to China in a year. Yet, they would not be able to board a cruise in the Caribbean. It doesn't sit right with me and makes me want to throw the R word.

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5 hours ago, MNgardens said:

I am not comfortable with the "regardless of residency" aspect. One could have been living in the US as an accountant for ten years and not been to China in a year. Yet, they would not be able to board a cruise in the Caribbean. It doesn't sit right with me and makes me want to throw the R word.

 

NCL is using the same passport rule for all of their cruise lines (NCL, Oceania and Regent).  So at this point the CCL cruise lines are the odd-man out [and they are the ones with passengers quarantined on their ships!].  I'm glad that passenger safety is more important to Azamara.

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I beg to differ. All the other criteria in the news release actually has to do with passenger safety and trying to prevent the spread of the illness. Banning everyone with those passports, even those that can clear the other criteria, is wrong.

 

Some British people in France just caught the virus from a British business traveler who went to Singapore. Are you going to ban the French? The British? Anyone who has been to Singapore? https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-51425702

 

edited to add:  anyone who has been in a major airport in the last two weeks has the potential to have been with in 6 feet of someone who has been to China. Just last week, my sister flew back from Asia and was seated next to a lovely Chinese- American family that was returning from China. She enjoyed the kids and she feels perfectly fine. Who knows how many other people she walked past? I sat next to her last night for dinner. I feel fine.

Edited by MNgardens
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Disagreeing about the policy is fine.  Immediately throwing around 'the R word' is a political knee jerk.  There is a logic behind the passport ban [nationals of any country have more relatives and friends from that country, and people of all nationalities are known to lie on their ship medical forms].  This is an unprecedented situation, and all the cruise lines are scrambling to deal with it as it unfolds.  NCL copied the RCL policy with a 24-hour delay, and they are getting castigated on that forum for not being pro-active enough.

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43 minutes ago, MNgardens said:

I beg to differ. All the other criteria in the news release actually has to do with passenger safety and trying to prevent the spread of the illness. Banning everyone with those passports, even those that can clear the other criteria, is wrong.

 

Some British people in France just caught the virus from a British business traveler who went to Singapore. Are you going to ban the French? The British? Anyone who has been to Singapore? https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-51425702

 

edited to add:  anyone who has been in a major airport in the last two weeks has the potential to have been with in 6 feet of someone who has been to China. Just last week, my sister flew back from Asia and was seated next to a lovely Chinese- American family that was returning from China. She enjoyed the kids and she feels perfectly fine. Who knows how many other people she walked past? I sat next to her last night for dinner. I feel fine.

Good point. Just walking through an airport or being seated on a plane - how would you know the travel history of those you may casually encounter?

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6 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

 

NCL is using the same passport rule for all of their cruise lines (NCL, Oceania and Regent).  So at this point the CCL cruise lines are the odd-man out [and they are the ones with passengers quarantined on their ships!].  I'm glad that passenger safety is more important to Azamara.

 

Can you provide the source for this?  I am unable to find it.

 

I am also unable to find the CDC source for implementing screening protocol #2 as well.

 

Thanks for any assistance.

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8 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

NCL is using the same passport rule for all of their cruise lines (NCL, Oceania and Regent).  So at this point the CCL cruise lines are the odd-man out [and they are the ones with passengers quarantined on their ships!].  I'm glad that passenger safety is more important to Azamara.

 

1 hour ago, ShopperfiendTO said:

Can you provide the source for this?  I am unable to find it.

 

Right here on Cruise Critic:

Coronavirus: Updated Cruise Ship Policies and Cancellations

NCL ¶3;  Oceania ¶6;  Regent ¶[3]

 

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21 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

Disagreeing about the policy is fine.  Immediately throwing around 'the R word' is a political knee jerk.  There is a logic behind the passport ban [nationals of any country have more relatives and friends from that country, and people of all nationalities are known to lie on their ship medical forms].  This is an unprecedented situation, and all the cruise lines are scrambling to deal with it as it unfolds.  NCL copied the RCL policy with a 24-hour delay, and they are getting castigated on that forum for not being pro-active enough.

What does 'R' word mean?

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Racism.

 

Focusing on what passport a person is carrying is a red herring. In these days of easy international travel through large airport hubs, a non Chinese business traveler can pick it up/pass it along before any symptoms appear, as in the case above with a traveler from Singapore which is not on the banned list. Your Uber driver could have had a passenger 6 days ago who was seated one row behind a contagious person. The clerk in the duty free shop has rung up sales from a whole host of nationalities.

 

Unless they are going to only permit passengers who have driven themselves to the port and can clear the other criteria, banning passport holders is useless.

 

And I am not even going into how xenophobic it is that perfectly healthy holders of Chinese passports who have not been socializing with potential carriers are being lumped all together based simply on place of birth and an assumption that they are liars.

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33 minutes ago, MNgardens said:

Racism.

 

And I am not even going into how xenophobic it is that perfectly healthy holders of Chinese passports who have not been socializing with potential carriers are being lumped all together based simply on place of birth and an assumption that they are liars.

 

Did you read carefully enough to note that I repeated said "people of all nationalities"?  That's what I meant about knee jerk reactions.

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Right, but doesn't that then negate the whole purpose of the health criteria above, if everyone could be lying? Only one group is being preemptively prevented from having the opportunity to fill out the forms. One group is discriminated against.

 

My family is multiracial and has been racially profiled in the past. This policy makes my spidey senses tingle. We don't have the option to just go along.

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