Jump to content

Status of simulated voyages associated with the CDC certification process?


Recommended Posts

As one of many who are anxiously waiting to go cruising again once it's deemed safe, we're curious to see if anyone has heard anything about when the cruise lines will actually start conducting "simulated voyages", which are designated as part of the CDC certification process as defined in the

 

Federal Register :: Framework for Conditional Sailing and Initial Phase COVID-19 Testing Requirements for Protection of Crew document as of Nov 4, 2020.

 

From what I've been able to find, CDC seems to be keeping track of the COVID certification status of the crew onboard cruise ships in US waters as represented in this link (about half the way down)

 

Crew Disembarkations through Commercial Travel | CDC

 

However, it would also be very informative to know when any of the applicable cruise ships scheduled to sail out of a US port before Nov 1, 2021 would actually start/complete their simulated certification voyages. I realize each cruise ship would still have to complete all aspects of the CDC certification process in addition to the COVID vaccine being made widely available. However, the knowledge associated with this "simulated voyage" step would definitely assist folks in determining if/when a scheduled itinerary they might be booked on, say in the May-July 2021 timeframe, would even have the chance of sailing.

 

If anyone has any insight on the status or estimated timeframe of these simulated voyages, we would definitely appreciate your thoughts.

Edited by Ken the cruiser
Link to post
Share on other sites

The CDC has not released all of the guidelines the cruise lines need to follow to allow them to conduct test cruises.

I doubt the CDC wants anyone cruising including test cruises until there is a major reduction in covid cases and some time to see how effective the vaccines are going to be.

My guess is no test cruises for several months.

Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, HaveWeMetYet said:

The CDC has not released all of the guidelines the cruise lines need to follow to allow them to conduct test cruises.

I doubt the CDC wants anyone cruising including test cruises until there is a major reduction in covid cases and some time to see how effective the vaccines are going to be.

My guess is no test cruises for several months.

 

Not true. That is exactly what the CDC released in November. The ball is in the court of the cruise lines to put their plans together and submit them, as well as adhering to the other CDC requirements regarding crew.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, HaveWeMetYet said:

The CDC has not released all of the guidelines the cruise lines need to follow to allow them to conduct test cruises.

I doubt the CDC wants anyone cruising including test cruises until there is a major reduction in covid cases and some time to see how effective the vaccines are going to be.

My guess is no test cruises for several months.

 

53 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

Not true. That is exactly what the CDC released in November. The ball is in the court of the cruise lines to put their plans together and submit them, as well as adhering to the other CDC requirements regarding crew.

I have to agree with @cruisemom42. What additional guidelines do you believe that the CDC needs to release?

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Fouremco said:

 

I have to agree with @cruisemom42. What additional guidelines do you believe that the CDC needs to release?

There are several. One of them is how many passengers are test cruises required to have. That information has not been made available to the cruise lines.

 

Here is Carnival CEO talking about it recently.

 

In the call that Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald held with investors this week, the CEO was asked: What is happening with the test cruises? Donald’s reply was this: 

“The additional guidelines for future phases have not yet been issued by the CDC. We have weekly calls or as often as we need with them. So that remains to be seen. But what I can tell you is that we’re on track to be able to do whatever we need to do in a very timely manner to be able to resume cruise ultimately.

To answer your question about specific timing on a test cruise, yes, we would be waiting. But obviously, we’re doing a lot of things. We’ve started to bring ships back into the US and are meeting the criteria put out there to be in a position to then subsequently do test cruises. But to give you a specific timing on the test cruises, we would need additional guidance from the CDC.”

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don’t think the CDC themselves knows what those next steps are. 
 

The 1/21 Executive Order gave Homeland Security and the Coast Guard 14 days to submit plans to implement at sea ports. These plans could largely impact any passenger cruise movement.
 

**Sea Travel.  The Secretary of Homeland Security, through the Commandant of the Coast Guard and in consultation with the Secretary of HHS and the Director of CDC, shall, within 14 days of the date of this order, submit to the President a plan to implement appropriate public health measures at sea ports.  The plan should implement CDC guidelines, consistent with applicable law, and take into account operational considerations.

 

Edited by Jeremiah1212
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

Not true. That is exactly what the CDC released in November. The ball is in the court of the cruise lines to put their plans together and submit them, as well as adhering to the other CDC requirements regarding crew.

🛳 cruisemama - the CDC released PROPOSED guidelines that have never been changed into rules.  You are confused by an obscure but important difference.  While no additional public hearings are necessary it will require at least one additional joint meeting with the CDC, Surgeon General and the Secretary of Health and Human Services - a rep from the White House (as before) likely as well.  Several of those positions need to be confirmed by the Senate

I agree that the guidelines are likely to have few if any changes, but the new administration could make updates.

 

The cruiselines are still assembling crew.  Remember international travel varies from difficult to impossible.  Am sure ships are practicing what they believe will be the required protocols.  The next step is the practice cruises you mention.  To do that you need a port willing and able - under current guidelines - to accept any and all on board who would be infected.  Do the Miami, Ft. Lauderdale or Tampa hospitals have the capacity or ability to handle a worst case scenario of COVID on board today?  In a month?  When? I have no idea but it will be some weeks.

 

Does anyone remember last year the CDC wanted to suspend cruises until spring of 2021 and the White House - guessing the VP and HHS Secretary vetoed that date?  Will Biden be in favor of a quick resumption or waiting till COVID case numbers drop significantly?

 

As already stated the day after inauguration of President Biden the process began again.

 

 

Edited by Arizona Wildcat
Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Arizona Wildcat said:

🛳 cruisemama - the CDC released PROPOSED guidelines that have never been changed into rules.  You are confused by an obscure but important difference.  While no additional public hearings are necessary it will require at least one additional joint meeting with the CDC, Surgeon General and the Secretary of Health and Human Services - a rep from the White House (as before) likely as well.  Several of those positions need to be confirmed by the Senate.

 

 

Are you sure about that?  This statement from the Framework would seem to argue otherwise:

 

image.thumb.png.6442fd27f0c43d0e2186c886fa423aa0.png

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

Are you sure about that?  This statement from the Framework would seem to argue otherwise:

 

image.thumb.png.6442fd27f0c43d0e2186c886fa423aa0.png

If the CDC and the cruise lines both wanted test cruises to take place they would already be running.

All the lines have cancelled out through April, so obviously, they don't expect test sailings until at least May.

Just look at all the travel restrictions rolling out. More to come Monday.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, HaveWeMetYet said:

If the CDC and the cruise lines both wanted test cruises to take place they would already be running.

 

Exactly. But my opinion is that it is the cruise ships that are hanging back, hoping not to have to implement the measures that the CDC has called for. I think they view the vaccine as their way around at least a number of them....

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, HaveWeMetYet said:

There are several. One of them is how many passengers are test cruises required to have. That information has not been made available to the cruise lines.

 

Here is Carnival CEO talking about it recently.

 

In the call that Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald held with investors this week, the CEO was asked: What is happening with the test cruises? Donald’s reply was this: 

“The additional guidelines for future phases have not yet been issued by the CDC. We have weekly calls or as often as we need with them. So that remains to be seen. But what I can tell you is that we’re on track to be able to do whatever we need to do in a very timely manner to be able to resume cruise ultimately.

To answer your question about specific timing on a test cruise, yes, we would be waiting. But obviously, we’re doing a lot of things. We’ve started to bring ships back into the US and are meeting the criteria put out there to be in a position to then subsequently do test cruises. But to give you a specific timing on the test cruises, we would need additional guidance from the CDC.”

 

Keep in mind you are talking about the same cruise lines that blamed the CDC about not flying their crew members out from the US, when the reason was that the cruise lines had refused to sign the attestations that would have allowed such flights.

 

Cruise line public comments do not necessarily represent the real reason for delays.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with those here who believe that the major cruise lines are waiting for more time to evaluate the vaccination efforts for passengers and crew.  Remember that the first simulated voyages will cost them a lot of cash which they do not really have at this point.  It might be better to hold out for vaccinated passengers and start running revenue-generating cruises later this year.

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

Are you sure about that?  This statement from the Framework would seem to argue otherwise:

 

image.thumb.png.6442fd27f0c43d0e2186c886fa423aa0.png

Yes I am sure about that.  What you posted specifically says it is not a "rule".  It was an emergency administrative act.  Of the parties originally involved almost all have either changed or are vacant - Am not up to date on Senate confirmations.  

Obviously the committee will be meeting in the next few weeks with a new VP, HHS Secretary, Surgeon General and Dr. Wollensky.  All new.  Only Dr. Fauci and the CDC Director remain.

This group can clearly without additional public hearings change the administrative guidelines into a rule.

Remember last time the White House overrode the CDC medical experts in not delaying the no sail order into 2021.  ALL the White House players have changed.

I ask what the current level of COVID infection would suggest?  Since the CDC wanted to extend no sail when infection was at a much lower rate last October; what would you expect today?

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Arizona Wildcat said:

Yes I am sure about that.  What you posted specifically says it is not a "rule".  It was an emergency administrative act.  Of the parties originally involved almost all have either changed or are vacant - Am not up to date on Senate confirmations.  

Obviously the committee will be meeting in the next few weeks with a new VP, HHS Secretary, Surgeon General and Dr. Wollensky.  All new.  Only Dr. Fauci and the CDC Director remain.

This group can clearly without additional public hearings change the administrative guidelines into a rule.

Remember last time the White House overrode the CDC medical experts in not delaying the no sail order into 2021.  ALL the White House players have changed.

I ask what the current level of COVID infection would suggest?  Since the CDC wanted to extend no sail when infection was at a much lower rate last October; what would you expect today?

Having spent a fair amount of time in government, including being involved with rule creation I would say the following:

 

The document posted by the CDC defines the requirements for the cruise lines.  It is up to the cruise lines to use that guidance to create and submit plans to the CDC for approval (as stated in the document).  In the process of creating and getting approval of those plans one would expect discussions to be taking place to determine in more detail what will or will not be acceptable to the CDC.  Especially since there is no existing approved plans to use as a reference.

 

There will not be any more detailed "rules" published in the federal register as part of that process.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The upcoming meeting with all the New players will be interesting.  I would expect a new no sail order and some clarification as to the port rules regarding accepting ill passengers.  Understand agencies like to leave existing guidelines in place, but this administration seems wanting to toss out the old and bring in their vision.

Trying to run test cruises when the pandemic numbers are worse than ever makes no sense.  How would crew get to the ships?  Until case loads on hospitals decline everywhere cruising would have ships being refused entry just like last year.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Arizona Wildcat said:

... Trying to run test cruises when the pandemic numbers are worse than ever makes no sense.  How would crew get to the ships?  Until case loads on hospitals decline everywhere cruising would have ships being refused entry just like last year.

 

 

.

Fortunately, it is no longer true that "pandemic numbers are worse than ever."  Probably because of the vaccination efforts of the past three weeks, the daily average number of cases has been falling significantly for a week or more.  You can see this fact in a CDC graph (which may look even better after the January 25 number has been revealed):

https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#trends_dailytrendscases

 

We don't think that it will be much longer before serious plans for "simulated voyages" can begin.  It's time for optimism, not pessimism, in our opinion.

.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Israel is leading the way with Covid Vaccinations.   Here is an interesting article published on the findings to date around Efficacy.   There are actually seeing results greater than 95%.   Very good news.

The results we evaluated 7 days after the second vaccination.

 

https://www.timesofisrael.com/week-after-2nd-pfizer-vaccine-shot-only-20-of-128000-israelis-get-covid/

 

Interestingly, though they are not seeing any drop in cases yet and seem to be still in the middle of high infections.

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, tert333 said:

Israel is leading the way with Covid Vaccinations.   Here is an interesting article published on the findings to date around Efficacy.   There are actually seeing results greater than 95%.   Very good news.

The results we evaluated 7 days after the second vaccination.

 

https://www.timesofisrael.com/week-after-2nd-pfizer-vaccine-shot-only-20-of-128000-israelis-get-covid/

 

Interestingly, though they are not seeing any drop in cases yet and seem to be still in the middle of high infections.

Interesting, but not sure how this relates to this thread.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good point.  I was just pointing out to the previous poster, the experience in Israel is that it is too early to see any results from the vaccination effort in the US, as illustrated in Israel, which has a much higher %age vaccinated.

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Arizona Wildcat said:

The upcoming meeting with all the New players will be interesting.  I would expect a new no sail order and some clarification as to the port rules regarding accepting ill passengers.  Understand agencies like to leave existing guidelines in place, but this administration seems wanting to toss out the old and bring in their vision.

Trying to run test cruises when the pandemic numbers are worse than ever makes no sense.  How would crew get to the ships?  Until case loads on hospitals decline everywhere cruising would have ships being refused entry just like last year.

 

 


Do you know the date of this meeting?

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is some good news for cruising at least for US ports. Covid cases have been falling in the US  and a hard drop could be in the works. In fact, several states that had peak cases in early December are already in a hard fall. Unless the new variants become an issue I can see test cruises maybe as early as March and maybe a limited return in May. With all the annoying restrictions of course.

This will be an interesting week to watch covid cases.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You do realize the drop you're seeing in the CDC data is from the post Thanksgiving spike, and the current data is incomplete? The last date I can see that the CDC considers "complete" on their graphs is for the week ending December 19, which looks to be 15,332 deaths. For the week ending October 31, before the late 2020 spike, there were 6,566 deaths. The last mostly complete numbers are a month ago, week ending December 26, and were still 9085 deaths for the week.

 

The trend lines over the last 5 weeks are incomplete, and would be a decrease from a peak in the week of December 12 of 17,374 deaths.

 

The same basic trend is visible in test results (cases) as well; decrease from a record high.

 

Trending down from the the absolute peak is NOT a hard fall to normal. Thankfully, it is a decrease from the peak... 

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, markeb said:

You do realize the drop you're seeing in the CDC data is from the post Thanksgiving spike, and the current data is incomplete? The last date I can see that the CDC considers "complete" on their graphs is for the week ending December 19, which looks to be 15,332 deaths. For the week ending October 31, before the late 2020 spike, there were 6,566 deaths. The last mostly complete numbers are a month ago, week ending December 26, and were still 9085 deaths for the week.

 

The trend lines over the last 5 weeks are incomplete, and would be a decrease from a peak in the week of December 12 of 17,374 deaths.

 

The same basic trend is visible in test results (cases) as well; decrease from a record high.

 

Trending down from the the absolute peak is NOT a hard fall to normal. Thankfully, it is a decrease from the peak... 

Anybody worried about the Super Bowl spike in the US?  I'm being serious.  The scenario of superbowl parties with everybody getting together inside to watch the game is a serious concern.  matching that of TG, XMAS and NY's Eve.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with Alberto Aliberti, President of Atlas Ocean Voyages
      • SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with RiverCruising, the River Cruise Experts
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...