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Update on Facts Related to Celebrity's Return to Service


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Good morning, everyone ~ just a quick reminder that we cannot copy and post materials from other publications as that is a copyright violation.  Inserting a link is fine but pasting the text of an article is not.

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Host Anne said:

Good morning, everyone ~ just a quick reminder that we cannot copy and post materials from other publications as that is a copyright violation.  Inserting a link is fine but pasting the text of an article is not.

Thanks for the reminder....I've seen many 'parts of articles' posted on this site so I suppose some go unnoticed.  While I disagree with most of this article, the gist of part of the article was important to some of us and the entire article from Newsweek is much too long to provide even a link.  I'm assuming my post which 'copied' a piece of that article was removed, but folks will no doubt find the information, at some point, for themselves.

Edited by Oceangoer2
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10 hours ago, BoundForSea said:

I've taken the Binax Now Antigen Rapid test from Walgreens several times, and I will tell you it is on the list of accepted 48hr Antigen Tests for the country SXM, however it DOES NOT have swab source and a couple other details on the pdf report.  

 

I b believe this is going to be a problem folks.  Finding a test that will truly satisfy their needs will be a challenge.  As it seems now, I will need to drive to either Manhattan or Jersey City, NJ from CT to get a RT-PCR that will have the information they require and it will cost 2-300$ to get it back within a day or two. I know you need 5 days, but we're planning on two nights in SXM prior to sailing, not taking two tests so to meet the requirements of both sXM and Celebrity it will need to come back quickly to upload it and be within the window of both island arrival and cruise ship boarding.

This is exactly the issue I’m running into. I’ve had many tests from both state run and pharmacy locations and neither provided every piece of detail that St. Martin is requiring.  I’m surprised more people are not talking about this...maybe they just didn’t read the info on their website or maybe their testing sites are run differently than in the north east. 

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40 minutes ago, Seany527 said:

This is exactly the issue I’m running into. I’ve had many tests from both state run and pharmacy locations and neither provided every piece of detail that St. Martin is requiring.  I’m surprised more people are not talking about this...maybe they just didn’t read the info on their website or maybe their testing sites are run differently than in the north east. 

The cruises are also over two months away; bound to be an infinite number of things change by then. 🙂

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14 hours ago, RoamingRetirees said:

My TA asked Celebrity about airport transfers. She was told Celebrity will not have transportation available but there should be taxis available.

Thanks for the info!

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Two things I found out in my area(Austin,TX). 

 

1. There are numerous labs that do rt-PCR tests at various cost. There is one near me that can do the test with appointment before noon and get same day results for $85.

 

2. The discussion about proof of vaccination. I had my pfizer vaccine done at CVS pharmacy and was given the filled out CDC card. I asked about proof if I lost my card or got damaged and was  told that they have records in their  system.  They would be able to look me up to give me proof of the vax.

 

I hope this helps some of you that are worried. And remember there still are many things Celebrity is working on to answer our concerns. To quote Host Anne  "patience"

 

 

 

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Am I correct . On the St Maarten site, it says guest originating from the US can do the rapid antigen test. However, Celebrity requires the PCR test which is harder to get back quickly unless you have a site near you.  Learning so much about testing. 

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1 hour ago, wesport said:

Am I correct . On the St Maarten site, it says guest originating from the US can do the rapid antigen test. However, Celebrity requires the PCR test which is harder to get back quickly unless you have a site near you.  Learning so much about testing. 

correct

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So in order to take a Celebrity out of St. Maarten I will need the following:

 

Negative PCR 120 days before boarding. What happens if it doesn’t come back in Time? Should I do two just in case at two different places?

Rapid antigen test 48 hours before entering St Maarten. Easy to get at Walgreens. 

Be vaccinated. Done. 

Possibly wear a mask on the ship. 

Rapid test before coming back to the US. 

 

Starting to wonder if its worth it. Just thinking out loud. It’s all routine except for the PCR. 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, ATXBecky said:

Thanks for the info!

I learned the same thing from my TA today.  Air through Celebrity will not include a transfer to the port.  

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26 minutes ago, wesport said:

So in order to take a Celebrity out of St. Maarten I will need the following:

 

Negative PCR 120 days before boarding. What happens if it doesn’t come back in Time? Should I do two just in case at two different places?

Rapid antigen test 48 hours before entering St Maarten. Easy to get at Walgreens. 

Be vaccinated. Done. 

Possibly wear a mask on the ship. 

Rapid test before coming back to the US. 

 

Starting to wonder if its worth it. Just thinking out loud. It’s all routine except for the PCR. 

 

 

 

 

It's 120 hours, wesport.  120 hours hours before arriving in St. Maarten AND before boarding the ship.  So as long as you aren't planning on staying in St. Maarten for more than two or three days prior to the cruise, you should be OK.  It's really not all that complicated.  My husband got tested every week for four months since he was a caregiver for his dad at an assisted living facility.  Compare to that, this is a piece of cake.

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15 minutes ago, Host Anne said:

 

It's 120 hours, wesport.  120 hours hours before arriving in St. Maarten AND before boarding the ship.  So as long as you aren't planning on staying in St. Maarten for more than two or three days prior to the cruise, you should be OK.  It's really not all that complicated.  My husband got tested every week for four months since he was a caregiver for his dad at an assisted living facility.  Compare to that, this is a piece of cake.

I meant 120 hours.  5 days seems reasonable. Should be able to get results back. They always state 24 to 72 hours. 

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RT-PCR tests in my state (PA) are not taking as long as before.  There is a lot of testing capacity and lab capacity and far fewer people taking tests.  That will be even more the case in June.   I recently was able to arrange a RT-PCR test at a local CVS same day, and got back results (neg!) in 1.5 days.

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19 minutes ago, TeeRick said:

RT-PCR tests in my state (PA) are not taking as long as before.  There is a lot of testing capacity and lab capacity and far fewer people taking tests.  That will be even more the case in June.   I recently was able to arrange a RT-PCR test at a local CVS same day, and got back results (neg!) in 1.5 days.

I just checked Walgreens in Florida, and most are coming back in less than 24 hours. Like you said, by June and July I think we will be good. 

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On 3/28/2021 at 9:21 PM, Ken the cruiser said:

We had our X PVP on Friday extend the holds on our cabin reserved for our b2b2b in July until Tuesday on the outside chance the powers that be change their minds over the weekend. Not holding our breath, but I'll post an update here once we get the final word, hopefully before Tuesday evening.

We just heard back from our X PVP today and "the powers that be" did not budge over the weekend on their "NO B2B policy" on cruises out of St Maarten this summer and, as such, we will be letting our 3 holds on our mid/late July cruises expire this evening.

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For any NYC residents, the city is offering *free* PCR Rapid Tests at several city run covid-express sites. Appointment only, results in 24 hours or less, delivered electronically. 

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-rapid-testing.page

I know urgent care like CityMD also offers rapid tests with results in 15 minutes, but I'm not sure of the cost, if it's PCR or antigen, or if it's still considered free under the city's free testing for all policy.

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On 3/30/2021 at 12:51 PM, Ken the cruiser said:

We just heard back from our X PVP today and "the powers that be" did not budge over the weekend on their "NO B2B policy" on cruises out of St Maarten this summer and, as such, we will be letting our 3 holds on our mid/late July cruises expire this evening.

OK, just to further follow up on this B2B issue. I just called Celebrity and got the official word that NO B2Bs will be allowed on ANY of the new summer itineraries being posted, to include those on the Millennium out of St Maarten, the Apex out of Athens and the Silhouette out of Southampton. When I mentioned the original B2B guidance that went out to the TAs in some form or fashion I was reading about on CC, he said the TAs were sent an email yesterday clarifying this NO B2B issue. So anyone booked on a B2B on any of these new sailings, beware. 

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2 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

OK, just to further follow up on this B2B issue. I just called Celebrity and got the official word that NO B2Bs will be allowed on ANY of the new summer itineraries being posted, to include those on the Millennium out of St Maarten, the Apex out of Athens and the Silhouette out of Southampton. When I mentioned the original B2B guidance that went out to the TAs in some form or fashion I was reading about on CC, he said the TAs were sent an email yesterday clarifying this NO B2B issue. So anyone booked on a B2B on any of these new sailings, beware. 

Our TA is trying to get clarification on this. I want to know what our recourse is since they took our full payment for b2b and booked our flights accordingly. It isn't worth it to us to fly to St. Maarten for only a one-week cruise. I guess we wait a little longer to cruise.

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Just now, RoamingRetirees said:

Our TA is trying to get clarification on this. I want to know what our recourse is since they took our full payment for b2b and booked our flights accordingly. It isn't worth it to us to fly to St. Maarten for only a one-week cruise. I guess we wait a little longer to cruise.

If you would, please let us know how it turns out. Luckily, our B2B2B was nixed before we even put a deposit down.

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1 hour ago, AstoriaPreppy said:

For any NYC residents, the city is offering *free* PCR Rapid Tests at several city run covid-express sites. Appointment only, results in 24 hours or less, delivered electronically. 

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-rapid-testing.page

I know urgent care like CityMD also offers rapid tests with results in 15 minutes, but I'm not sure of the cost, if it's PCR or antigen, or if it's still considered free under the city's free testing for all policy.

One thing to note is that I’m quite sure Celebrity will follow the lead of others and require the test to be from certain vetted providers. Looking to Hawaii as an example - you can’t just take any test - has to be approved.. And I would hate for folks to walk to the pier and be turned away despite vaccinations and being eligible to enter the country. I would hope it maps to the same providers as St. Maarten but that remains to be seen.

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1 minute ago, Kreative03 said:

One thing to note is that I’m quite sure Celebrity will follow the lead of others and require the test to be from certain vetted providers. 


Per their guidelines, Celebrity is requiring reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, or rt-PCR tests within 120 hours of boarding in St. Maarten. Hawaii is requiring a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), which is less common, and can detect covid other tests can miss.

 

With Hawaii it's easy to list major providers since they're getting a majority incoming traffic from Japan (nationalized healthcare) and California (Kaiser, etc). That's much more challenging when Celebrity is getting passengers from a much wider area across the US with widely varying access to testing, etc.

I can't imagine Celebrity would publish the standards required for travel, accept bookings, and then say "surprise, your taxpayer-funded NYC rt-PCR test doesn't count, you need to go to this doctor on Park Avenue and pay $250." 
 

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Just heard from our TA. Celebrity will not allow b2b this summer. They are giving us a full refund for cruises and air since we booked before they changed the rules. I'm good with that. I was afraid they would only give FCC. We had paid in full for two cruises plus air, and I wasn't going to let them keep all that money.  Now I don't have to worry about finding a test--always something positive!

 

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Everyone is talking about the travel requirements to get to St. Maarten and to get on the ship. But no one is talking about the requirements for the ports of call. Aruba, for example, will not accept an antigen test which is the type available on the ship. PCR only accepted.

 

Per the visitaruba.com site: “The test must be a COVID-19 test, obtained from a nasal/oral swab specimen through amplified Molecular testing performed by a certified lab, and the results need to be uploaded as part of the online ED Card process.”  To obtain an Aruba ED Card people must upload their test results. How is that going to work on the ship in the middle of a cruise?

 

But by the time you dock in Aruba, the results of rt-PCR test that you took at home will not fall within Aruba's 72 hour limit. It's fine for people to say, "Oh, things will change between now and then", but as of today, passengers will not be getting off the ship in Aruba. And note, Barbados and Curacao have similar restrictions. Seven sea days, anyone?

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1 hour ago, Projunior said:

Everyone is talking about the travel requirements to get to St. Maarten and to get on the ship. But no one is talking about the requirements for the ports of call.

Actually, there have been numerous posts on this question, but the general consensus appears to be that Celebrity is working with the islands to establish a workable solution. Also, that Celebrity would not have launched the St. Maarten itineraries without having some degree of confidence that agreement would be forthcoming.

 

Like everything else COVID-related, there's no guarantee. Any of the islands, including St. Maarten, might find themselves suddenly faced with the need for a full lockdown and no cruise ship will be allowed. Unlikely, but possible. 

 

Bear in mind too that in pre-COVID days, the visitor regulations for many countries made no specific mention of cruise ship passengers, yet their entry for a day in port was very different from entry at an airport. So it's possible that Aruba, for example, has reached an agreement with Celebrity already, but has chosen not to publish the exception in its posted COVID regulations.

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