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Florida sues to reopen cruise ports


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44 minutes ago, marieps said:

Are you saying there's been zero progress against the disease?  There's plenty to prevent Diamond Princess from happening again.  A vax requirement to start.  Mandatory testing for another.  testing hadn't even been developed when the DP broke out.   I disagree with your assertion.

 

That's not what I said at all. I said a similar situation. An outbreak, illness, disease of any variety. Maybe even a COVID-19 variant. We don't know and there are no guarantees. Anything that would cause ships to be denied entry into even our own US ports because our politicians fear having them 'dumped' here. That's the crux of the CDC's ask. Make a plan.  

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14 hours ago, Fouremco said:

It would appear that Florida's government has opted for an adversarial approach in lieu of a cooperative one. 

 

I believe they HAVE tried a cooperative one but the CDC has not.  Unfortunately IMO the CDC has become very political.

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3 minutes ago, blueboro said:

 

I believe they HAVE tried a cooperative one but the CDC has not.  Unfortunately IMO the CDC has become very political.

Maybe I just missed the cooperative efforts. Can you cite examples of the government of Florida approaching the CDC in a cooperative manner? 

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45 minutes ago, Ride-The-Waves said:

Last March DeSantis refused to let a cruise ship with American COVID19 passengers moor at a Florida port.  Doesn't expect anything different.

With all of the whoopla going on in the news regarding this issue, I'm just hoping Celebrity is working behind the scenes with the various FL medical and port authorities to get the Edge's Phase 2A required paperwork and shipboard requirements in order to start Phase 2B "test cruises" sometime in May. After all, there must be a reason why the Edge is hanging out with the Silhouette (bound for Southampton) and Apex (bound for Athens) in the waters off Barbados.  

 

Celebrity Edge Itinerary, Current Position, Ship Review | CruiseMapper

 

There is that old saying "the early bird catches the worm". In this case the target would be which cruise line gets to first offer Phase 4 restricted revenue cruises (in July ???) and more importantly capture the largest share of bookings once they get the CDC approval nod.

 

At least that's what I'm hoping ... 🤞🤞

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1 hour ago, kpark895 said:

If a state sues the federal government, in most situations the case goes directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.

That is not necessarily true.  The Supreme Court retains original jurisdiction over cases by the federal government against a state, not the reverse.  So the US can file a case directly with the Supreme Court.  State cases would have to go through the federal court system and wait on the SC as to whether the case would be heard there on appeal.

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Posted (edited)

Thank you to Ken the Cruiser for starting another interesting thread.

 

His old thread, "Are Vaccines the Light at the End of the Tunnel" certainly turned out to be a very different thread than those usually found on Cruise Critic  where the topic was indirectly related to cruising and instead contain fact based discussions on the development of the vaccines and their clinical trials.

 

I have several comments to make based on "boots on the ground" Florida  experience and work experience with over thirty four years dealing with writing, reading and interpreting regulations and other regulatory documents.

 

First, a general comment about the Executive Order "banning" vaccination passports in Florida. Please read the order for yourself and pay attention to every word, particularly in Sections 1 and 5 (look up my past posts where I go into detail). Close reading will show that there are two big loopholes that allow public health measures for control of the virus which could include vaccination status.

 

Read the CDC April 2 order on cruising. Pay attention to those "must" (used to be "shall" in older documents) versus "should." The use of the word "should" means what is expected but can be different in reality based on experience with supporting data.

 

A cruise line, like MSC who has tight controls on existing cruises, has data that they can use to support procedures in cruises from US ports and probably will be one of the first lines back in operation from US ports.

 

As far as the law suit, it only serves the political purpose of bringing a name to national attention while not necessarily demonstrating the realities of life in Florida and restrictions in place.

 

Case in point: My husband and I volunteer at a local Florida State Park. We have recently returned to active status as we are now fully vaccinated and willing to deal with the Park visitors.

 

Part of the reason we have returned are the very strict rules that are in place for Florida State Parks. Staff and volunteers must wear a mask at all times. Social distancing is in place and several popular features of the park are closed because social distancing is not possible.

 

While visitors are not required to wear a mask, it is highly recommended and a large number of visitors do so because of their personal risk of Covid 19, familiarity on the amount of community spread, the prevalence of the highly transmissible Covid 19 variants in Florida and for protection against other visitors who will not follow recommendations. 

 

Do we have visitors who give us grief because "He who shall not be named" has promoted Florida as being totally opened? Of course we do. However, we point out we are operating under the Florida rules for the Florida State Parks and it is their option not to visit the Park.

 

In my opinion, I believe that cruise lines will be sailing from sailing from Florida and that vaccination status will be part of the process. An agreement with a Federal Agency (CDC) will supersede any blustering done by local politicians.

Edited by Homosassa
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59 minutes ago, ECCruise said:

DeSantis has literally said that cruise lines were included in his "no proof of vaccination permitted" EO.

He can say it, but it doesn't mean very much, because he has no control over the other countries those ships are going to, and everyone of THEM requires evidence of vaccination right now, so the cruise lines are going to request it.

 

It would be like a governor saying that an airline leaving from an airport in their state can't check a passport for international travel. International travel falls under federal not state law.

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45 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

With all of the whoopla going on in the news regarding this issue, I'm just hoping Celebrity is working behind the scenes with the various FL medical and port authorities to get the Edge's Phase 2A required paperwork and shipboard requirements in order to start Phase 2B "test cruises" sometime in May. After all, there must be a reason why the Edge is hanging out with the Silhouette (bound for Southampton) and Apex (bound for Athens) in the waters off Barbados.  

 

Celebrity Edge Itinerary, Current Position, Ship Review | CruiseMapper

 

There is that old saying "the early bird catches the worm". In this case the target would be which cruise line gets to first offer Phase 4 restricted revenue cruises (in July ???) and more importantly capture the largest share of bookings once they get the CDC approval nod.

 

At least that's what I'm hoping ... 🤞🤞

I like your optimism Ken.  But, I would not hold out any hope that the cruise lines are doing anything at this point to comply with the CDC phased approach.  They seem to have made clear that they think the test cruises, etc., are not "doable" (whatever that means).  I think they are hoping that the CDC will cave, but that ain't likely to happen.  IMO.

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5 minutes ago, harkinmr said:

I like your optimism Ken.  But, I would not hold out any hope that the cruise lines are doing anything at this point to comply with the CDC phased approach.  They seem to have made clear that they think the test cruises, etc., are not "doable" (whatever that means).  I think they are hoping that the CDC will cave, but that ain't likely to happen.  IMO.

We're not, but it's more fun to be optimistic. 🙂 We have a B2B2B scheduled on the Edge in mid July with FP due in a little over a week on the first leg. What would give us hope is if X extends the FP date to 45 days out like they did with our ill-fated early May Alaska cruise on the Millennium. But, if that extension doesn't happen, we'll just cancel each one as their time expires, and be ready to rebook if by some miracle the Edge is eventually approved to start Phase 4 restricted sailings in the July/August time frame. 

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And still no word on why these plans they are being requested to work out are so prohibitively difficult to execute. They have 'plans' in other parts of the world. Right? Maybe? No? Such a bizarre stance for an industry in which literally every aspect of their operation is regulated in some way. 

 

In my industry if we told regulators "hey thanks for sharing, but no thanks, not interested!", we should probably just turn the lights out and lock the door. Game over.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, paulh84 said:

And still no word on why these plans they are being requested to work out are so prohibitively difficult to execute. They have 'plans' in other parts of the world. Right? Maybe? No? Such a bizarre stance for an industry in which literally every aspect of their operation is regulated in some way. 

 

In my industry if we told regulators "hey thanks for sharing, but no thanks, not interested!", we should probably just turn the lights out and lock the door. Game over.

Being someone over in the peanut gallery, I'm trying to understand what is so difficult with completing the Phase 2A preparation work in support of one or two ships doing simulated or restricted passenger voyages out of let's say Ft Lauderdale. We're not talking about the entire fleet, just one or two ships out of one port. 

 

As required by the terms of CDC’s Framework for Conditional Sailing Order, a cruise ship operator must document the approval of all U.S. port and local health authorities where the ship intends to dock or make port during one or more simulated voyages or restricted passenger voyages as a condition of receiving or retaining controlled free pratique for conducting one or more simulated voyages or receiving and retaining a COVID-19 Conditional Sailing Certificate.

 

Technical Instructions for a Cruise Ship Operator’s Agreement with Port and Local Health Authorities under CDC’s Framework for Conditional Sailing Order | Quarantine | CDC

Edited by Ken the cruiser
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2 hours ago, kpark895 said:

If a state sues the federal government, in most situations the case goes directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.


What’s your authority for this?  The Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction (its power to hear cases from the start, bypassing all other courts) is quite narrow (see, e.g., the discussion at the link below), and in fact Florida filed this case where it belongs, in a federal district (trial-level) court. 

 

https://www.fjc.gov/history/courts/jurisdiction-original-supreme-court

 

 

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2 hours ago, ECCruise said:

DeSantis has literally said that cruise lines were included in his "no proof of vaccination permitted" EO.

He can also say he's the Queen of England, means nothing. Proof of vaccination will mostly likely be provided online anyway, how does he think he will stop it?  Furthermore, he only has jurisdiction over FL businesses.  Cruise ships are subject to US maritime law, and a state governor's attempt to regulate cruise ships would likely violate the Commerce Clause, meaning Congress has the sole power to regulate commerce.  His claim of being able to control cruise lines is a non-starter.

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Now Celebrity wants our help. Got this email just a few minutes ago:

 

Dear (HskrCrsr),
 
Yesterday we extended the global suspension for most of our ships around the world through June. Unfortunately, this includes our United States (U.S.) homeports: Fort Lauderdale, Seattle, Cape Liberty (New Jersey), and other vital ports across the country. Right now, we are unable to sail from the U.S. due to the CDC’s Conditional Sail Order. Cruising remains the only sector of the economy that is prohibited by the U.S. Government from operating at this time.

Together with the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), we are petitioning U.S. policymakers and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to remove the Conditional Sail Order and allow cruising to resume along with other travel and hospitality industries. Over the past eight months, a highly-controlled resumption of cruising has taken place in Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific—with nearly 400,000 passengers sailing. Additional markets are scheduled to return in the spring and summer. It’s clear that as public health conditions have improved, our industry’s enhanced public health measures are working.

The cruise industry is a vital part of the travel and tourism economy. To date, over 300,000 jobs have been lost in the U.S. due to the suspension of cruises. The majority of those impacted are independent business owners or individuals employed by small- to medium-sized businesses. With the cruise industry supporting nearly 450,000 American jobs and contributing to over $55.5 billion annually, restarting cruises as part of the broader travel industry will provide a much-needed boost to our country’s economy.



TAKE ACTION:
TELL CONGRESS TO HELP RESTART CRUISING


Please visit the CLIA Action Center for easy-to-use tools to contact your elected officials in the House and Senate and ask them to make resumption of cruising an urgent priority and request that the Biden Administration lift the Conditional Sailing Order (CSO) by this July.

We believe we can – and must – be part of the country’s re-opening this summer, sailing from U.S. ports in July. Vaccines are a game-changer and together with our robust, proven protocols allow us to operate with a high level of confidence in our ability to return to sailing safely.

As a loyal guest of Celebrity, we know you are eager to sail again aboard our beautiful ships. Thank you to those who have already booked your next exciting journey with us.

We can’t wait to welcome you aboard.

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2 hours ago, Jeremiah1212 said:

 

That's not what I said at all. I said a similar situation. An outbreak, illness, disease of any variety. Maybe even a COVID-19 variant. We don't know and there are no guarantees. Anything that would cause ships to be denied entry into even our own US ports because our politicians fear having them 'dumped' here. That's the crux of the CDC's ask. Make a plan.  

I see.  I inferred you were talking about COVID.  The vax is shown effect against the known variants so far, but who knows what the next virus is.  Lets hope we have to wait another 100 years to find out.

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, HskrCrsr said:

Now Celebrity wants our help. Got this email just a few minutes ago:

 

Dear (HskrCrsr),
 
Yesterday we extended the global suspension for most of our ships around the world through June. Unfortunately, this includes our United States (U.S.) homeports: Fort Lauderdale, Seattle, Cape Liberty (New Jersey), and other vital ports across the country. Right now, we are unable to sail from the U.S. due to the CDC’s Conditional Sail Order. Cruising remains the only sector of the economy that is prohibited by the U.S. Government from operating at this time.

Together with the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), we are petitioning U.S. policymakers and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to remove the Conditional Sail Order and allow cruising to resume along with other travel and hospitality industries. Over the past eight months, a highly-controlled resumption of cruising has taken place in Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific—with nearly 400,000 passengers sailing. Additional markets are scheduled to return in the spring and summer. It’s clear that as public health conditions have improved, our industry’s enhanced public health measures are working.

The cruise industry is a vital part of the travel and tourism economy. To date, over 300,000 jobs have been lost in the U.S. due to the suspension of cruises. The majority of those impacted are independent business owners or individuals employed by small- to medium-sized businesses. With the cruise industry supporting nearly 450,000 American jobs and contributing to over $55.5 billion annually, restarting cruises as part of the broader travel industry will provide a much-needed boost to our country’s economy.



TAKE ACTION:
TELL CONGRESS TO HELP RESTART CRUISING


Please visit the CLIA Action Center for easy-to-use tools to contact your elected officials in the House and Senate and ask them to make resumption of cruising an urgent priority and request that the Biden Administration lift the Conditional Sailing Order (CSO) by this July.

We believe we can – and must – be part of the country’s re-opening this summer, sailing from U.S. ports in July. Vaccines are a game-changer and together with our robust, proven protocols allow us to operate with a high level of confidence in our ability to return to sailing safely.

As a loyal guest of Celebrity, we know you are eager to sail again aboard our beautiful ships. Thank you to those who have already booked your next exciting journey with us.

We can’t wait to welcome you aboard.

Just got it as well.

 

Update: But I think I will pass and let them work it out, especially when the CLIA posted this on the link they provided. Like I said, I'm not seeing what is so difficult with regards to performing the Phase 2A preparatory requirements.

 

The cruise community is ready to work with the CDC to adopt a new approach to resumption in the U.S. that reflects current conditions and incorporates learnings from sailings that have occurred in other parts of the world. 

 

CLIA Action Center | CLIA (cruising.org)

 

 

Edited by Ken the cruiser
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3 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

Just got it as well. 

Received here as well.  While I personally am not ready to get on a ship just yet (next booked April 2022).  What with vaccines being required for all pax and crew, I plan to use the CLIA tool.  Just because I don't want to get on board yet, does not mean others feel the same, if someone is willing and has been vaxed, ALL ABOARD!!

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5 minutes ago, KWW88 said:

Received here as well.  While I personally am not ready to get on a ship just yet (next booked April 2022).  What with vaccines being required for all pax and crew, I plan to use the CLIA tool.  Just because I don't want to get on board yet, does not mean others feel the same, if someone is willing and has been vaxed, ALL ABOARD!!

Just curious, where does the CLIA state that all cruise lines will require vaccines for all passengers and crew for cruises sailing out of US ports? If they had that in writing, then I might think differently. I know Celebrity and RCCL haven't mandated them for their current non-US port start-up cruises, as children will only require a negative PCR test.

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5 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

Just curious, where does the CLIA state that all cruise lines will require vaccines for all passengers and crew for cruises sailing out of US ports? If they had that in writing, then I might think differently. I know Celebrity and RCCL haven't mandated them for their current non-US port start-up cruises, as children will only require a negative PCR test.

For vax requirement I was referring to Celebrity

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Royal Caribbean also sent me a version of this letter as well as the one I got from Celebrity.  I plan to respond.  It can't hurt.  We need to publicly pressure Congress AND the cruise lines to find a way forward with the CDC.

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1 minute ago, TeeRick said:

Royal Caribbean also sent me a version of this letter as well as the one I got from Celebrity.  I plan to respond.  It can't hurt.  We need to publicly pressure Congress AND the cruise lines to find a way forward with the CDC.

Exactly.  If people are willing to get on a ship at a US port this fall, and they have personally taken all the precautions, along with the cruise lines, let them already, we need to start somewhere.

 

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20 minutes ago, TeeRick said:

Royal Caribbean also sent me a version of this letter as well as the one I got from Celebrity.  I plan to respond.  It can't hurt.  We need to publicly pressure Congress AND the cruise lines to find a way forward with the CDC.

Yes received and e-mail from both RCI & Celebrity

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Posted (edited)

Wondering  why  cruise lines and or CLIA  do not join the lawsuit or start their own? Are TAs clamoring for re opening or relying on  others?

         *          *             *            *

Getting  the required local okays that are required by the CDC might be rough.  I recall seeing some of the local  Fl govs in action  on TV / news videos...at the beginning of the Covid nightmare. 

 

Not too impressive...lots  of self interest and  in my opinion...one hearing spent  way too much time on how to  shelter pets rather than ill people. (Love pets but would think people should come 1st.)

 

Too many govts and entities to please..difficult task!

 

Hope we can cruise again before we are too old .!

Edited by hcat
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2 hours ago, Ken the cruiser said:

Being someone over in the peanut gallery, I'm trying to understand what is so difficult with completing the Phase 2A preparation work in support of one or two ships doing simulated or restricted passenger voyages out of let's say Ft Lauderdale. We're not talking about the entire fleet, just one or two ships out of one port. 

 

As required by the terms of CDC’s Framework for Conditional Sailing Order, a cruise ship operator must document the approval of all U.S. port and local health authorities where the ship intends to dock or make port during one or more simulated voyages or restricted passenger voyages as a condition of receiving or retaining controlled free pratique for conducting one or more simulated voyages or receiving and retaining a COVID-19 Conditional Sailing Certificate.

 

Technical Instructions for a Cruise Ship Operator’s Agreement with Port and Local Health Authorities under CDC’s Framework for Conditional Sailing Order | Quarantine | CDC

 

I'm with you. I really just don't get it. If they wanted to bolster their argument, explain why these steps are so difficult to process and show us your 'robust tiered plan' you have in place. I'm afraid they are working in the opposite direction of their goal with each day that passes. Is there something to hide? Something ugly we don't want to bring attention to? Their level of refusal is going to become suspect. If they are not quietly working on these plans behind the scenes, they've wasted more time complaining than it would take to move forward as asked. 

 

At this rate of spurning, why not ditch the VSP and the noro protocols? After all, what other industry has to report on that? Hotels don't. Airlines don't. Theme parks don't. 

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