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WmFCoyote

Are our cruising days over? (merged topics re: health and age restrictions)

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13 minutes ago, coo359a2 said:

Don't think you are wrong as I haven't seen anything come from Princess about requiring a letter.  Since we will be talking with our doctor on the 15th,  I am just asking for her opinion on her signing a letter like this if we sail on a cruise line that might be requiring such a letter.  

It looks to me that the Fit to Sail letter was a 'Hail Mary Pass' to keep cruises going in March and April.  I think that when the lines that jumped the gun and sent out requests for those letters, they were only planning to require them during the Covid-19 crises.  I think that the cessation of all cruises combined with the number of ports worldwide denying access for cruise ships has made the Fit to Sail letter a moot point.

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2 minutes ago, Daniel A said:

It looks to me that the Fit to Sail letter was a 'Hail Mary Pass' to keep cruises going in March and April.  I think that when the lines that jumped the gun and sent out requests for those letters, they were only planning to require them during the Covid-19 crises.  I think that the cessation of all cruises combined with the number of ports worldwide denying access for cruise ships has made the Fit to Sail letter a moot point.

Sure hope you are right as I can't wait for cruising to resume once it is determined to be safe or as safe as can be.

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20 minutes ago, coo359a2 said:

Sure hope you are right as I can't wait for cruising to resume once it is determined to be safe or as safe as can be.

Stay safe & healthy!

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DH received an email today from Create Your Cruise  that contains a wealth of information about the status of travel companies including most cruise lines. Princess still does not state that they plan to use any sort of fit to travel restrictions other than the health form they have used for years. It has been modified to include questions about COVID-19.

However, RCC definitely has such restrictions in place. Their statement says that passengers over 70 must have a physicians letter stating their fitness to travel. It goes on to say that any passenger with certain medical conditions will be denied boarding. This includes diabetes. 
Try finding this info at presscenter.rclcorporate.com.

Sorry. Don’t know how to do a link with my iPad.
It’s this action that is already in place that concerns me. Will Carnival Corporation follow their lead? 

 

 

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I have three cruises booked with Princess.  (August 2020 - NYC to Greenland

March 2021 - Back to back Hawaii Tahiti and Mexican Riviera). 
 

I think when Princess returns we will all have our temperatures taken at the time of embarkation.  If you have a high temperature you will not be allowed to board the ship.

 

I also expect that Princess will revamp Horizon Court where the staff will serve us all the food on the buffet and the self serve water stations will be removed.  In my opinion this  will be a positive change after seeing people, not washing their hand, touching food and place it back on the buffet,  and refilling their own water bottle when there is a sign saying not too.

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29 minutes ago, Syracusefan said:

I also expect that Princess will revamp Horizon Court where the staff will serve us all the food on the buffet and the self serve water stations will be removed.  In my opinion this  will be a positive change after seeing people, not washing their hand, touching food and place it back on the buffet,  and refilling their own water bottle when there is a sign saying not too.

You may very well be correct.  If they did all this to Horizon Court, then they will need to hire additional crew to function as servers.  They also could reduce the variety of offerings thus reducing the number of servers that would be needed.  Given that we aren't talking about just one ship, that would be a huge increase in crew fleetwide, requiring more crew staterooms to accommodate the additional crew.  That space has to come from somewhere.  I also think that PAX who prefer Horizon Court do so because of the variety of offerings.  Reducing the number of offerings just could turn more PAX away.

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1 hour ago, Daniel A said:

You may very well be correct.  If they did all this to Horizon Court, then they will need to hire additional crew to function as servers.  They also could reduce the variety of offerings thus reducing the number of servers that would be needed.  Given that we aren't talking about just one ship, that would be a huge increase in crew fleetwide, requiring more crew staterooms to accommodate the additional crew.  That space has to come from somewhere.  I also think that PAX who prefer Horizon Court do so because of the variety of offerings.  Reducing the number of offerings just could turn more PAX away.

Thank you for extrapolating that and showing the potential consequences of a decision such as not allowing pax to handle their own food at the buffet. Oftentimes, I think people make suggestions (which well might be worth consideration!) without taking into account the potential consequences. I also liked your earlier comment about asking those with contrary views to support them using reliable sources instead of anecdote or hearsay.

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13 minutes ago, DCGuy64 said:

Thank you for extrapolating that and showing the potential consequences of a decision such as not allowing pax to handle their own food at the buffet. Oftentimes, I think people make suggestions (which well might be worth consideration!) without taking into account the potential consequences. I also liked your earlier comment about asking those with contrary views to support them using reliable sources instead of anecdote or hearsay.

Having servers in the buffet is already being done by HAL, so it should not be that difficult or expensive to do.

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1 hour ago, ontheweb said:

Having servers in the buffet is already being done by HAL, so it should not be that difficult or expensive to do.

Anytime we've had the crew serving us on Princess it's been so slow we just avoid the buffet altogether.

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1 hour ago, ontheweb said:

Having servers in the buffet is already being done by HAL, so it should not be that difficult or expensive to do.

 

It also has a 2nd non-discussed benefit of virtually eliminating cross-contamination for those with allergies.  As I've developed 2 food allergies in my 40's (I got to live 40 years with no allergies, and then wham, back to back - sometimes it's sucks growing older - but it beats the alternative:), the benefits of knowing the food is "clean" of unintended cross-contamination is getting priceless to me.

 

I don't eat buffets now b/c I can't guarantee what's in the food is actually what's in the food.  So, my family has a buffet while I table order at the Asian restaurants we still go to that allow both concepts at once.  So, for me, moving to a served buffet or a "food court" concept would both be pluses, not minuses, for booking a cruise ship...even before we get to the sanitation/germ avoidance benefits...

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1 hour ago, ontheweb said:

Having servers in the buffet is already being done by HAL, so it should not be that difficult or expensive to do.

Not having sailed on HAL, how do the costs of fares compare to Princess for similar itineraries?  If it's very comparable, does HAL make it up by not having any services currently offered on Princess.

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Posted (edited)

Daniel A said:

 

"Somebody please correct me if I am wrong, but it is my understanding that the 'Fit to Sail' form was only a proposal floated to VP Pence's Corona Virus Working Group.  There is no documentation that the proposal was ever implemented industry wide or even accepted or endorsed by The White House.  (According to USA Today, NCL sent an e-mail out stating they will require a form from the PAX' doctor at boarding.  I see where RCI wants one too for near future sailings during the emergency but nobody's sailing now anyway.  They then stated if a PAX is denied boarding they'll give the PAX a FCC... 🤣)  If you don't hear from Princess that you will need one, then you won't need one.  The only Fit to Sail Form I am aware of that Carnival requires is for PAX who require dialysis."

 

Daniel, You seem to miss the point. The question is not if PCL has or will cancel a cruise but will they provide a full refund if they require a "Fit to travel letter" and one can not provide one either because that a doctor will not sign it or because the cruiser has one of the underlying conditions considered to put the cruiser at a high risk IAW CDC guidelines. It is these conditions which could stop a cruiser from using their FCC which would then expire at the end of the time frame so generously provided by the cruise lines. 

The cruise lines could reduce the anxiety of cruisers who have  paid for a cruise, are awaiting for a formal announcement that their cruise has been canceled and are wondering if they will be able to use a FCC before it expires by announcing that cruises due to sail before (enter date) on (certain cruises)  are canceled and that cruisers over the age of 69 (?) or those with the underlying conditions (letter required from doctor?) will be given the option of full refund to original method of payment or a FCC.

Edited by WmFCoyote
spelling

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13 hours ago, WmFCoyote said:

Still waiting for Princess to say weather or not they will require a "Fit to Sale" letter and will they cancel any more Alaska cruises.

 

10 minutes ago, WmFCoyote said:

Daniel A said:

 

"Somebody please correct me if I am wrong, but it is my understanding that the 'Fit to Sail' form was only a proposal floated to VP Pence's Corona Virus Working Group.  There is no documentation that the proposal was ever implemented industry wide or even accepted or endorsed by The White House.  (According to USA Today, NCL sent an e-mail out stating they will require a form from the PAX' doctor at boarding.  I see where RCI wants one too for near future sailings during the emergency but nobody's sailing now anyway.  They then stated if a PAX is denied boarding they'll give the PAX a FCC... 🤣)  If you don't hear from Princess that you will need one, then you won't need one.  The only Fit to Sail Form I am aware of that Carnival requires is for PAX who require dialysis."

 

Daniel, You seem to miss the point. The question is not if PCL has or will cancel a cruise but will they provide a full refund if they require a "Fit to travel letter" and one can not provide one either because that a doctor will not sign it or because the cruiser has one of the underlying conditions considered to put the cruiser at a high risk IAW CDC guidelines. It is these conditions which could stop a cruiser from using their FCC which would then expire at the end of the time frame so generously provided by the cruise lines. 

The cruise lines could reduce the anxiety of cruisers who have  paid for a cruise, are awaiting for a formal announcement that their cruise has been canceled and are wondering if they will be able to use a FCC before it expires by announcing that cruises due to sail before (enter date) on (certain cruises)  are canceled and that cruisers over the age of 69 (?) or those with the underlying conditions (letter required from doctor?) will be given the option of full refund to original method of payment or a FCC.

WmF, I was answering the question you posted.  (See your above post in red.)  If it makes any difference however, the form letters that RCI and NCL were requesting were only for PAX 70 years or older, if one is under 70, no letter was deemed to be required (except in the case of dialysis patients on Carnival.)

 

You will note that I used a LOL emoji when I passed along  "They then stated if a PAX is denied boarding they'll give the PAX a FCC... 🤣 That was because I found it humorous that RCI and NCL seem to think that a PAX who is denied boarding due to a lack of a physician's clearance could use a FCC at all.  (Apparently the RCI/NCL fairy would make the PAX younger - 69 or younger, or the fairy would cure the PAX Heart Disease, Lung Disease, Diabetes or other normally chronic health issues - thus enabling the PAX to use the FCC at a later date!)

 

I don't think any of the cruise lines that already went on record requiring a FTS letter want the letter at time of booking, they were looking for a letter issued just prior to embarkation.  IF PCL were to initiate a FTS requirement, then any FCC time limit would start at the point the PAX is denied boarding.

 

I think I understand your motivation for asking your questions.  I posted in a different posting that I believe the intent of the FTS requirement was an effort to allow the cruise lines continue to sail during this pandemic.  Once Covid-19 is no longer an issue, I would think the FTS would no longer be an issue either.  I don't think anybody was able to cruise with a FTS as the whole industry stopped all new sailings shortly after proposing the FTS system.  On a last note, I have an extensive vacation scheduled for late September.  I don't think it will be safe for me to go on four airplane flights, a train and a bus even in September.  If I had a cruise scheduled during the same time period I don't think I'd get on a ship that soon either.  The bottom line is I doubt very seriously that any cruise line will be sailing anytime soon much less sailing with a FTS requirement.  I hope my thoughts help.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Daniel A said:

Third and fourth hand anecdotes aren't generally considered reliable.

 

Oh now you are just being crazy!  Those are mainstays here on CC. My uncle's friend's sister's hairdresser's daycare provider's brother told her he read on Facebook......

Edited by Thrak

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17 minutes ago, Thrak said:

 

Oh now you are just being crazy!  Those are mainstays here on CC. My uncle's friend's sister's hairdresser's daycare provider's brother told her he read on Facebook......

You're wrong!  it was your uncle's friend's sister's hairdresser's daycare provider's sister told her she read on Twitter...…  It was on the news so it has to be true!

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2 minutes ago, Daniel A said:

You're wrong!  it was your uncle's friend's sister's hairdresser's daycare provider's sister told her she read on Twitter...…  It was on the news so it has to be true!

 

Random fact: The Twitter bird is named Larry.  (Look it up.)

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12 hours ago, Daniel A said:

 

The only Fit to Sail Form I am aware of that Carnival requires is for PAX who require dialysis.

 

Again, I welcome any corrections to this post, but , please, if you contest what I say here, please use reliable open source material to back up contrary posts.  Third and fourth hand anecdotes aren't generally considered reliable.

 

https://wreg.com/news/carnival-cruise-passengers-say-they-were-denied-boarding-due-to-existing-health-conditions/

 

 

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15 hours ago, Daniel A said:

The only Fit to Sail Form I am aware of that Carnival requires is for PAX who require dialysis.

 

Again, I welcome any corrections to this post, but , please, if you contest what I say here, please use reliable open source material to back up contrary posts. 

 

New Carnival Cruise Line Health Restrictions

The cruise line has announced even tighter restrictions to help protect guests and crew from the deadly coronavirus which continues to spread around the world. The new policy mainly impacts older guests who are more susceptible to the virus.

Older passengers of 70 years and older will have a much harder time getting on their cruise and here are the details released from Carnival. The following individuals will not be allowed to sail with the cruise line:

  • Guests who have been hospitalized in the last two months for, or have a history of, severe or chronic medical conditions.
  • Per CDC, chronic conditions are defined as an illness persisting for a long time or constantly recurring, such as diabetes, heart, kidney or lung disease, suppressed immunity (i.e., active cancer, taking steroids) or require oxygen for any reason.
  • Guests who are 70 years and older, will be required to present a doctor’s “fit to sail’ letter at check-in, confirming they do not meet any of the health/medical criteria.
    If you are unable to present this letter, you will not be allowed to cruise.
 
 

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13 hours ago, Daniel A said:

You may very well be correct.  If they did all this to Horizon Court, then they will need to hire additional crew to function as servers. 

 

When they have had noro alerts, they do change the buffet to have servers. They get the extra manpower by shutting down the buffet on the other side of the ship, so the normal two buffet areas go down to one.

 

 

11 hours ago, ontheweb said:

Having servers in the buffet is already being done by HAL, so it should not be that difficult or expensive to do.

 

HAL only uses servers for some of the buffet areas, where someone has to dish the food out of a tray. There is still plenty of self-service, from getting fruit such as bananas and oranges to getting pre-made wrapped sandwiches to getting plated desserts.

 

Each little buffet section that has a server has its own line, so you can end up being on a number of lines in order to get your meal put together.

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7 hours ago, caribill said:

 

New Carnival Cruise Line Health Restrictions

The cruise line has announced even tighter restrictions to help protect guests and crew from the deadly coronavirus which continues to spread around the world. The new policy mainly impacts older guests who are more susceptible to the virus.

Older passengers of 70 years and older will have a much harder time getting on their cruise and here are the details released from Carnival. The following individuals will not be allowed to sail with the cruise line:

  • Guests who have been hospitalized in the last two months for, or have a history of, severe or chronic medical conditions.
  • Per CDC, chronic conditions are defined as an illness persisting for a long time or constantly recurring, such as diabetes, heart, kidney or lung disease, suppressed immunity (i.e., active cancer, taking steroids) or require oxygen for any reason.
  • Guests who are 70 years and older, will be required to present a doctor’s “fit to sail’ letter at check-in, confirming they do not meet any of the health/medical criteria.
    If you are unable to present this letter, you will not be allowed to cruise.
 
 

Over the last couple of months I have read tons of posts by people who say the cruise lines should have done a better job of protecting passengers from COVID-19, with a few posters advocating class-action lawsuits for negligence. Now that Carnival is putting in place restrictions to limit the possibility of an outbreak, I have to wonder 1. Whether those putting the blame on the industry will applaud this move and 2. Whether those same people will get angry because the new restrictions are too broad. Let's be clear: you can't have it both ways. If the cruise lines get blamed for not being cautious enough, you can't complain when they begin implementing restrictions. (and hopefully this will be only a temporary measure)

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16 minutes ago, DCGuy64 said:

Over the last couple of months I have read tons of posts by people who say the cruise lines should have done a better job of protecting passengers from COVID-19, with a few posters advocating class-action lawsuits for negligence. Now that Carnival is putting in place restrictions to limit the possibility of an outbreak, I have to wonder 1. Whether those putting the blame on the industry will applaud this move and 2. Whether those same people will get angry because the new restrictions are too broad. Let's be clear: you can't have it both ways. If the cruise lines get blamed for not being cautious enough, you can't complain when they begin implementing restrictions. (and hopefully this will be only a temporary measure)


 Great point!  You can’t have it both ways!  
Everyone seems to be so quick to place blame ... unless your room steward was knowingly sick and was sneezing, coughing, spitting all over the surfaces in your room, not sure how this could be the fault of the cruise line.  
 

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17 hours ago, Daniel A said:

Not having sailed on HAL, how do the costs of fares compare to Princess for similar itineraries?  If it's very comparable, does HAL make it up by not having any services currently offered on Princess.

 

I have sailed on all major lines and every buffet is different.  HAL does serve about 75% of their buffet and it is painfully slow.  

 

For example, it get a salad (which btw is very, very good).  One server puts everything you want on the salad and tosses it.  It is very good, but also huge, so not side salad size.  One time there were 20 people in line and it takes about a minute each.

 

For the entrees, there is also just one server.  One night there were over 40 people waiting.  I complained to the head officer in the buffet near the beginning of the cruise and for the entire cruise, it never changed, only one person serving. 

 

Having said that, I would much rather eat where people are served because people serving themselves in the buffet is horrible.  If they could get it a little more speedy I would love to be served.  Otherwise, it almost takes as long as going to the dining room sometimes.  

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55 minutes ago, DCGuy64 said:

(and hopefully this will be only a temporary measure)

As I mentioned earlier, I do believe the whole Fit to Sail issue was only a temporary proposal which became a moot issue once all cruises were cancelled.  The previous posts relating to Carnival implementing a Fit to Sail policy were dated around March 12 when Carnival was still hoping to continue cruising through the health crises.  Later that month, all cruises were halted.  Now, all Carnival Sailings are suspended until at least May 11 and specific itineraries are suspended even further out making Fit to Sail irrelevant as nobody is boarding their ships anytime soon.  Carnival's Health and Sailing update page (which was updated on April 1) makes no mention of Fit to Sail anywhere.  Hopefully, they've already abandoned the concept.  See the page here:  https://www.carnival.com/health-and-sailing-updates.aspx

 

BTW, I am strictly referring to Carnival Cruises, not Carnival Corporation.  Once cruising opens up again, I do not believe this is going to be an issue.  I think the bigger issue will be trying to coax seniors and those with chronic conditions to come back to cruising.

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This Fit For Travel letter is based on a CLIA proposal to the Office of the VP back on March 11th.  Princess, which belongs to CLIA with a number of other major cruise lines, never put out a formal policy as their operations were already suspended at the time of CLIA's proposal.  Several other cruise lines, ones that were still operating, did provide formal announcements on this, though.  I assume it was a requirement of CLIA to do so since those other lines were still in operation.  Most likely, every cruise line that belongs to CLIA does have to abide by the agreements that are made on their behalf.  Note that I say, 'most likely' as I'm not well versed in the actual requirements of being a member of CLIA ... but that does make sense from my vantage point.    

I've not seen any updates to this and quite honestly, why would Princess even rock the boat at this point in time when they are trying to keep future bookings from being canceled?  Is this the right thing to do?  Not at all!  But, is it being hidden to keep their company from further financial damages?  Yes .. I assume it is!  I don't think we will hear any more announcements from Princess or any other of the cruise lines on this matter until they resume operations.  

 

https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/clia-proposes-new-measures-to-reduce-coronavirus-risk

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10 hours ago, caribill said:

 

When they have had noro alerts, they do change the buffet to have servers. They get the extra manpower by shutting down the buffet on the other side of the ship, so the normal two buffet areas go down to one.

 

 

 

HAL only uses servers for some of the buffet areas, where someone has to dish the food out of a tray. There is still plenty of self-service, from getting fruit such as bananas and oranges to getting pre-made wrapped sandwiches to getting plated desserts.

 

Each little buffet section that has a server has its own line, so you can end up being on a number of lines in order to get your meal put together.

I can see a problem with fruit, but not with wrapped sandwiches already made or plated desserts.

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