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US announces framework for phased resumption of cruise operations

 
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a framework for the phased resumption of cruise ship operations in the United States.

Anne Kalosh | Oct 30, 2020

First: Crew testing and capability for passenger testing

The initial phases will consist of testing and additional safeguards for crew members. CDC said it will ensure cruise ship operators have adequate health and safety protections for crew while operators build the laboratory capacity needed to test future passengers.

Trial voyages

Subsequent phases will include simulated voyages to test cruise ship operators’ ability to mitigate COVID-19 risk, certification for ships that meet specific requirements and a phased return to cruise ship passenger voyages in a manner that mitigates COVID-19 risk among passengers, crew and US communities.

 

Subject to change based on key factors

These phases are subject to change based on public health considerations and cruise ship operators’ demonstrated ability to mitigate COVID-19 risk.

CDC said it will issue additional orders as needed that will be published in the Federal Register and technical instructions that will be subsequently posted on its website.

CDC's order additionally announced requirements for the initial phases relating to crew testing. The agency considers adequate crew safeguards as demonstrated through laboratory testing for COVID-19 an integral part of the initial phases prior to resuming passenger operations.

Testing 1, 2, 3 ...

The 40-page order contains requirements for multiple layers of testing.

CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield's order came one day before the no-sail order was to expire. Ships carrying more than 250 souls have not been allowed to carry passengers to or from the US since March 14.

CLIA's commitment

Cruise Lines International Association said it looks forward to working with CDC to advance a return to cruising from US ports.

 
 
Jancruz1
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I was just about to post this myself but you've lots of good included details. Thanks, Jan

Here's hoping the trial voyage work out well and more is learned to be able to open up even further.

Inching closer...

 

Timing is great as we had just booked a cruise last night to give us something to look forward to.

Edited by YoHoHo
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Cruising will be happening soon.  I believe cruise lines have been preparing for this.  If they haven't been, the stock holders should fire the board and replace management.  I doubt CLIA will extend there no sail order - Their biggest members have already passed a path nd plan to cruising.  Some of their members are cruising in Europe.   I have skimmed the 40 page document and largely mirrors the current 74 page return to cruising that has been published by some of the lines.

 

The wind is at our back, and we have following seas.  

 

Please do not be negative, if you do not want to cruise that is fine. 

 

 

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I agree..if you dont want to cruise we all understand but those of us that do and are excited  dont need people telling us why we  or you shouldnt or wouldnt we get it!!

I am booked for next October but certainly hope to go before that..

Yippee,

Jancruz1

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26 minutes ago, Jancruz said:

I agree..if you dont want to cruise we all understand but those of us that do and are excited  dont need people telling us why we  or you shouldnt or wouldnt we get it!!

I am booked for next October but certainly hope to go before that..

Yippee,

Jancruz1

Booked for late september....  but looks like Spain, Italy Beligum may not open till May or June 2021

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Just had a quick flip through ... one thing I did notice that either cruise for real or the sea trials they will do must be no more than 7 days in duration from US ports.

 

Also testing prior to embarkation and also prior to disembarking.

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Very few details really.   Some interesting mentions:

"quarantine of all remaining passengers" on pg 25

undefined "threshold" of COVID cases onboard will cancel a cruise on p31&33

max cruise length = 7 days on p 32

 

 

 

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Good reading shows ships not currently in US waters will require roughly 90 days to get the CDC certificates to allow them to sail from US ports and maximum 7 day cruise (no B2B).  Don't expect any Oceania cruises before mid January 

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1 hour ago, D C said:

Very few details really.   Some interesting mentions:

"quarantine of all remaining passengers" on pg 25

undefined "threshold" of COVID cases onboard will cancel a cruise on p31&33

max cruise length = 7 days on p 32

 

1 hour ago, D C said:

"Quarantine of all remining passengers and non-essential crew" on pg 25 is in the section titled "Minimum Standards for Simulated Voyages Prior to Issuance of COVID-19 Conditional Sailing Certificate".

Quarantine of all remaining passengers and non-essential crew" is item iv under sub-section (7) "A simulated voyage must include the following simulated activities".

The quarantine aspect is all part of the  simulation activities.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, D C said:

Very few details really.   Some interesting mentions:

"quarantine of all remaining passengers" on pg 25

undefined "threshold" of COVID cases onboard will cancel a cruise on p31&33

max cruise length = 7 days on p 32

 

 

 

My interpretations of the "undefined" items will all be laid out in the plan that each cruise line will prepare and submit to the CDC.  The plan (as stated) will be in the website and marketing material for example what happens if you are left in port if you have covid.   A lot of details are TBD.

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33 minutes ago, GICNJC said:

Good reading shows ships not currently in US waters will require roughly 90 days to get the CDC certificates to allow them to sail from US ports and maximum 7 day cruise (no B2B).  Don't expect any Oceania cruises before mid January 

 one oceania ship is already approved.

 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/crew-disembarkations-commercial-travel.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Ftravelers%2Fcruise-ship%2Fcruise-ship-member-disembarkations.html

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30 minutes ago, msears101 said:

 

No...that's just certification to allow crew changes. You'll note that it's for the Regatta, which is docked in the US at Astoria Oregon so needs to be able to make crew changes while in the US.

 

Cruise lines will have to submit applications to the CDC for a "COVID-19 Conditional Sailing Certificate", which has numerous requirements for such things as arrangements with shoreside health care companies that can accommodate and passengers and crew disembarked with positive  COVID-19 test results . The cruise lines can only submit those applications after they've completed their "simulated voyages". 

 

We're still  a ways away from the restart of cruising, but at least now the cruise lines have requirements that are a bit better defined than they were prior to today.

Edited by njhorseman
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So this means Oceania will have to completely redo their itineraries to fit the 7 day restriction.  Not an easy thing to do.  I think these rules will better fit the mass market lines who do 7 day cruises as a matter of course.  We have a B2B booked on Riviera in February, which will have to be totally changed.  I wonder how they will handle the cancelling process?  

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So where will these 7 day cruises go? The only place right now is Mexico. Most of the usual Caribbean islands are not allowing tourists in . They will need to change their restrictions before cruises from the US can resume. Because of the Jones Act, there can't be cruises that leave from American ports and visit only other American ports so that would be out. Oceania doesn't have a private island and even if they did, would any O cruisers spend this much money on a cruise that only went one place?

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9 minutes ago, susiesan said:

So where will these 7 day cruises go? The only place right now is Mexico. Most of the usual Caribbean islands are not allowing tourists in . They will need to change their restrictions before cruises from the US can resume. Because of the Jones Act, there can't be cruises that leave from American ports and visit only other American ports so that would be out. Oceania doesn't have a private island and even if they did, would any O cruisers spend this much money on a cruise that only went one place?

Private islands seem to be the only way initially. 

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2 minutes ago, susiesan said:

So where will these 7 day cruises go? The only place right now is Mexico. Most of the usual Caribbean islands are not allowing tourists in . They will need to change their restrictions before cruises from the US can resume. Because of the Jones Act, there can't be cruises that leave from American ports and visit only other American ports so that would be out. Oceania doesn't have a private island and even if they did, would any O cruisers spend this much money on a cruise that only went one place?

Not the Jones Act, which governs the shipping of merchandise. Passenger ships are governed by the much older Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA).

 

NCLH in fact owns two private islands, Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas and Harvest Caye in Belize. One of my Oceania cruises made a day long port stop in Harvest Caye. There's nothing prohibiting Oceania, or Regent Seven Seas, ships for that matter from using either of the private islands. However despite being private islands they are still part of the Bahamas and Belize, respectively, and would have to abide by the rules of those countries. It's not inconceivable that those countries could soften their restrictions to allow calls at the private islands since the number of their citizens that would be directly exposed to cruise ship passengers would be small, and the passengers would all have tested negative for COVID-19 under the CDC's plan.

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4 minutes ago, D C said:

Private islands seem to be the only way initially. 

As I just stated in response to that post NCLH owns two private islands and I have been to one of them on an Oceania cruise. However private islands are still part of a country and have to abide by the country's rules.

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8 minutes ago, njhorseman said:

As I just stated in response to that post NCLH owns two private islands and I have been to one of them on an Oceania cruise. However private islands are still part of a country and have to abide by the country's rules.

Only to an extent. 

Do any of them require going through immigration? I don't believe so.  The 'ports' are extensions of the ship for the most part. Self-contained and separated from the jurisdiction in which they reside. 

 

Granted how the local authorities treat them is yet to be determined. 

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39 minutes ago, D C said:

Only to an extent. 

Do any of them require going through immigration? I don't believe so.  The 'ports' are extensions of the ship for the most part. Self-contained and separated from the jurisdiction in which they reside. 

 

Granted how the local authorities treat them is yet to be determined. 

Yes they require immigration. As a cruiser immigration is invisible to you in almost every port, whether a private island or otherwise, particularly in the Caribbean and the Bahamas. Usually the ship just provides the manifest paperwork to local authorities, who clear the ship without any further examination of individual documents, or if on a cruise line like Oceania that holds your passports the authorities have access to them if they need to examine your personal documents. Further, from Harvest Caye you can take a boat to the Belize  mainland if you wish to tour there so you're not separated from the country in any way.

 

A private island is still part of the country in which it resides, just as the private property on which i live is still part of the State of New Jersey and the United States of America and fully subject to all state and federal laws. "Private property" just means property owned by private parties and not owned by the government. It doesn't mean not under government jurisdiction.

 

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We just made the final payment for the Jan 3, 2021 Riviera cruise from Miami.  I may be the eternal optimist but am still hoping that we may be able to go.  We have been to all the Caribbean Islands many times and do not mind if they are not able to go to some of the ports.  I’d volunteer to be on one of the trial runs.

 

I agree with the posts above about no negativity from those who do not want to cruise.  Seeing the announcement really made me excited.  I feel so sorry for the people that have had their livelihoods destroyed by the shutdown.

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