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Well, now this is interesting.....Looks like Florida may have gotten it's way.


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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Mary229 said:

I never understood that argument.   The CSO applies to non-vaccinated cruises and the Alaska cruises, by choice, are vaccinated cruises.  Anyway if there is no CSO, the lines simply go back to business as usual.  I think they would be wise to run vaccinated cruises only to prevent outbreaks and the media that would come with that 

 

15 hours ago, Heartgrove said:

 

Not according to how the Alaska law was written.

 

15 hours ago, Mary229 said:

I am not aware of the details of that law, I suppose. 

The Alaska legislation requires that each cruise ship receive a Conditional Sailing Certificate, which is a mechanism under the CSO, in order to take advantage of the PVSA exemption.  IF the ruling on the CSO stands then the CSO is null and void.  That means no Conditional Sailing Certificate is available and pursuant to the legislation the ship cannot sail from Seattle.  The legislation would need to be amended or the exemption disappears, along with all cruises to Alaska.  What are the chances of that happening?  This is not about vaccinations, this is about getting around the PVSA and Canada's sailing ban.

Edited by harkinmr
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To SummoCitrus ... I generally agree with all of your points. One more thing ... from the perspective of the foreign owners and operators of foreign-flagged cruise ships, the U.S. is a foreign nation and its ports are foreign ports. IMHO, the CDC therefore does have a legitimate role in this discussion as well.

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5 minutes ago, NavArch64 said:

One more thing ... from the perspective of the foreign owners and operators of foreign-flagged cruise ships, the U.S. is a foreign nation and its ports are foreign ports. IMHO, the CDC therefore does have a legitimate role in this discussion as well.

 

Excellent point.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, NavArch64 said:

I am not a lawyer .... but .... it appears to me that Alaska will not be affected. The injunction against the CDC CSO applies only to Florida. In any event, the CDC CSO stays in effect as a "recommendation" or "guideline".

The judge's decision was effectively that the CSO is unlawful in its current form.  If it is unlawful, it is unlawful everywhere not just Florida.  Whatever happens with the CSO it will apply to all ports in the US. 

 

The CSO is in full force and effect through July 18.  It will either be replaced by a new CSO negotiated in the court ordered mediation and approved by the judge, or the ruling can be appealed by the CDC.  If it is appealed, the appellate court could stay the district courts order and the CSO remains in place beyond July 18 pending resolution of the appeal.  And the ruling does in fact impact Alaska sailings because those are based on compliance with the CSO.

Edited by harkinmr
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10 hours ago, IslandThyme said:

Disclosure - I'm not a lawyer, but I am a former Federal employee on the regulatory side of things. What I don't understand about this ruling is what happened to the principle of agency deference, wherein the CDC, for example, is assumed to be the authority about issues within its domain? Attorneys among us, what say you? 

Substantial deference and discretion is generally given to federal agencies.  The judge in this case tried to draw a fine line by upholding much of that discretion, but apparently believes that the CDC overstepped their mandate with regard to the CSO and the rules under it.  He did, however, leave the door open for the CDC to revise the CSO to be more in line with his legal determinations.  It is also very likely that the CDC will appeal this ruling, so it is not the last word by any means.  We shall see what happens next.

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13 hours ago, Vineyard View said:

So if the CDC does not have the power/authority to issue those rules, it’s my understanding  (and maybe I am wrong);that companies and corporations have a right to set their own rules. Such as you need to be vaccinated to sail on us. You need to be wearing a mask to enter my place of business. Etc. 

I just saw an interview with RCCL that if they may need to change their all passenger requirements,  those who are not vaccinated may need to conform (my word) to different guidelines once on the ship. 
What a total cluster. 

You would think so, but the Governor of Florida thinks otherwise.  No vaccine requirements allowed.

 

That being said, some of the lines (Celebrity and Carnival so far) have crafted a workaround for Florida's vaccine mandate ban.  We will see if it works.

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From HAL yesterday ...

 

     We look forward to welcoming you on board! Alaska has been waiting for you with wide-open spaces, magnificent wildlife and breathtaking mountains. And with Holland America Line, you’ll be among the few to experience dynamic glaciers in Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve. On board, relax in easy elegance, with a wide range of activities, world-class dining and more. It’s time to start preparing for your upcoming vacation!

 

We are sailing on MS Nieuw Amsterdam on July 31 from Pier 91 Seattle "come hell or high water" or this 4 star Mariner will be very disappointed. I am ready to take her out myself (I have been on her bridge and am familiar with her maneuvering and navigation system) but, unfortunately, I don't hold a Master's license. We shall see.

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24 minutes ago, SumoCitrus said:

Do you think in the end a practical approach to this will need to be taken?

 

Someone check my math and logic please:

 

You can agree or disagree with the current status of the CDC vs. FL dispute, but at the end of the day, cruise lines are a business. They must make good business decisions.

 

Assuming CC Polls Are Accurate - 80% of PAX pool insists on vax / 20% doesn't

 

Don't you think it's possible, or even probable, that those 20% are unvaxxed and will remain so? If that is the case, and the CC poll respondents make up a good approximation of the cruise passenger pool, can HAL or any other cruise line survive with ships that are only 80% full?

 

I honestly don't know the answer to that question but my assumption is no. If I am correct, the market will make the decision here with regard to vax mandates.

 

Then you have the Country (USA) as a whole

 

We are not likely going to get to 70%+ vaxxed nationwide. Maybe 50-60%. If you are a business, does it make sense to exclude 50% of your pool of potential customers? Disregard your notions of safety for a moment - because we're going to disagree on that point - but seriously, how long can a cruise line go on while unnecessarily cutting down its customer base by half?

 

You have to move on from Diamond Princess

 

"But Diamond Princess!" doesn't cut it anymore. Weren't there just two recent cruises that had covid positive crew and/or pax? What happened to those? Are they in the gulag? We've changed how we react to this virus because we know more now.

 

The real challenge will be foreign nations

 

I've said it before and I'll say it again - the challenge isn't CDC, FL, cruise lines, pax polls, or any of that. The challenge will be foreign ports. They will set the rules they see fit. If they insist on vaccinated pax and proof or passports, they will get what they want if you want to put in at their port. I hope the market forces play out here too, but I think cruise itineraries will be weird for the next few years on this basis. I don't know about you, but I am not interested in 80% sea days.


I don’t think vaccinated only cruises will mean 80% full ships necessarily. Cruise lines have lost a lot of capacity with the ships sold and scrapped to survive. It will take a long time to get back to pre-pandemic capacity.

 

I see it more along the lines of target audience. All of the cruise lines appeal to different segments of the population - Hal pax are very different from Carnival or Royal, but none of them had trouble filling ships. Given the choice of 80% of the market or 20% I can tell you which one I would pick (assuming these numbers are correct)

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4 minutes ago, NavArch64 said:

From HAL yesterday ...

 

     We look forward to welcoming you on board! Alaska has been waiting for you with wide-open spaces, magnificent wildlife and breathtaking mountains. And with Holland America Line, you’ll be among the few to experience dynamic glaciers in Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve. On board, relax in easy elegance, with a wide range of activities, world-class dining and more. It’s time to start preparing for your upcoming vacation!

 

We are sailing on MS Nieuw Amsterdam on July 31 from Pier 91 Seattle "come hell or high water" or this 4 star Mariner will be very disappointed. I am ready to take her out myself (I have been on her bridge and am familiar with her maneuvering and navigation system) but, unfortunately, I don't hold a Master's license. We shall see.

I will be happy to help you sail her! I’m sure the autopilot can’t be that hard to figure out. 
 

On a serious note I am very much looking forward to my August 14th sailing. Based on what HAL sent out it sounds like pretty much a pre-covid experience onboard with a couple minor adjustments. 100% vaccinated, no masks or social distancing required. 

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26 minutes ago, harkinmr said:

Substantial deference and discretion is generally given to federal agencies.  The judge in this case tried to draw a fine line by upholding much of that discretion, but apparently believes that the CDC overstepped their mandate with regard to the CSO and the rules under it.  He did, however, leave the door open for the CDC to revise the CSO to be more in line with his legal determinations.  It is also very likely that the CDC will appeal this ruling, so it is not the last word by any means.  We shall see what happens next.

It’s going to be interesting to see what percentage of people onboard will end up disclosing vaccination rather than go the testing route. Their workaround is crafty hopefully it works 

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As everyone here knows .... from H.R. 1318 as signed into law by the President ...

 

(a) Definition of Covered Cruise Ship.--
            (1) In general.--In this section, the term ``covered cruise 
        ship'' means a vessel included on the list under paragraph (2) 
        that--
                    (A) has been issued, operates in accordance with, 
                and retains a COVID-19 Conditional Sailing Certificate 
                of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and
                    (B) operates in accordance with any restrictions or 
                guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and 
                Prevention associated with such Certificate, including 
                any such restrictions or guidance issued after the date 
                of enactment of this Act.

 

So, if the Tampa judge's order were to take full effect on July 18, and the CDC CSO becomes a "guideline" not only in Florida but in the State of Washington as well, as some have suggested, could not HAL request that a CDC CSC be issued for the Nieuw Amsterdam on a "voluntary" basis and therefore conform to the terms and conditions of H.R. 1318? I still don't see why I can't sail on July 31, even under the "worst" outcome of this "tangled web".

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4 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

Don't know where the judge draws the line on "burdensome", since the cruise lines have been building ships and buying special equipment for the entire food service, laundry, child care, recreational water facilities, and other areas of hotel service, to meet the CDC's requirements of the VSP for decades.

 

Yes, cruise lines have been building ships for decades, but the lines knew the standards they were building to. These new standards appeared with (exactly how much?) very little lead time. They also expire in November. I realize that most viruses adhere to the strict Gregorian calendar....

 

A thorough reading of the ruling allows the CDC to apply/suggest/require modifications. It also requires the names and qualifications of the scientists who provide the basis.

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1 hour ago, kelleherdl said:

Correct.  They do it all the time.  I believe it is always authorized by specific statutory authority.  I don’t see where that issue is relevant.  The CDC is undeniably a subordinate agency to USPHS and HHS.

I'm pretty sure that CDC and USPHS are peer subordinate agencies to HHS.

 

Fun question: Prior to 2020, how many ship inspections did the CDC perform? @Copper10-8 can probably answer from personal experience.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, kelleherdl said:

The judge did not contest the USPHS authority to control contagion.  He spent significant effort outline the ‘letter’ of the Public Health Services Act which codified the historic role of the PHS in taking certain specific action to control contagion on vessels, the 7 numbered actions.  The judges ruling hinged on number 7) other measures.  He ruled that the CDC’s actions under its interpretation of ‘other measures’ far exceeded the scope of the prior actions 1 thru 6.  Often when interpreting the law, in fact most of the time, judges rule on degrees not just black and white. In this case, in my opinion, a black and white ruling  would go against the CDC; as most of the actions of the CDC ARE NOT innumerated in legislation.

I will admit I have not read the decision. (I believe someone posted it is 124 pages.) But, I have read some of the posts here that say the judge held that the cruise lines should not be treated differently than any other travel industry. If this is correct, I think it is crazy. JMHO. 

 

Does anyone stay on an airplane for 7 days, or 10 days, or 2 weeks, or in the case of world cruises for months? Has anyone in a hotel or motel or any other resort had days that they could not step outside the facility because they are in the middle of the ocean? To not understand that cruises are unique, is not accepting reality. Again JMHO.

Edited by ontheweb
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16 hours ago, Heartgrove said:

 

I will agree as we are on one of the Viking Iceland cruises with a bunch of missteps by Viking. I would estimate that it is only about 10% of the passengers that are on CC who have been commenting.

10% if that.  You see the same commenters over and over.  When I have mentioned "roll call" or CC to people, most say they never heard of it.

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2 hours ago, NavArch64 said:

There are 2 references required in this discussion .... the USC (U.S. Code, i.e. the law as passed by Congress and signed by the President) and the CFR (Code of Federal Regulations, i.e. the process and procedures by which the law is implemented and executed by the Departments and Agencies of the federal government). IMHO, the CDC CSO is essentially an extension of the CFR by the Department of Health and Human Services under a national heath emergency, a legitimate responsibility and authority under the USC. Additionally, the CSO exclusively affects the operation of foreign registered ships owned by foreign entities entering and operating in U.S. territorial waters. I believe that the ruling of the Tampa judge will no doubt be overturned on appeal, unless there is a revision of the order by July 18th.  

I'm sure it will be appealed, and I agree with you that it will be overturned. But only time will tell. I agree with you that he overstepped his authority.

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To respond to the question of whether companies have the right to set their own rules. 

 

I believe that the answer is yes but they cannot conflict with local, state, or federal law. For example, a restaurant cannot decide that it will only serve white people. That conflicts with a law. If the fire Marshall determine that you can have only 125 people in your restaurant, you can decide that you only want 100 people.

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1 hour ago, SumoCitrus said:

Do you think in the end a practical approach to this will need to be taken?

 

Someone check my math and logic please:

 

You can agree or disagree with the current status of the CDC vs. FL dispute, but at the end of the day, cruise lines are a business. They must make good business decisions.

 

Assuming CC Polls Are Accurate - 80% of PAX pool insists on vax / 20% doesn't

 

Don't you think it's possible, or even probable, that those 20% are unvaxxed and will remain so? If that is the case, and the CC poll respondents make up a good approximation of the cruise passenger pool, can HAL or any other cruise line survive with ships that are only 80% full?

 

I honestly don't know the answer to that question but my assumption is no. If I am correct, the market will make the decision here with regard to vax mandates.

 

Then you have the Country (USA) as a whole

 

We are not likely going to get to 70%+ vaxxed nationwide. Maybe 50-60%. If you are a business, does it make sense to exclude 50% of your pool of potential customers? Disregard your notions of safety for a moment - because we're going to disagree on that point - but seriously, how long can a cruise line go on while unnecessarily cutting down its customer base by half?

 

You have to move on from Diamond Princess

 

"But Diamond Princess!" doesn't cut it anymore. Weren't there just two recent cruises that had covid positive crew and/or pax? What happened to those? Are they in the gulag? We've changed how we react to this virus because we know more now.

 

The real challenge will be foreign nations

 

I've said it before and I'll say it again - the challenge isn't CDC, FL, cruise lines, pax polls, or any of that. The challenge will be foreign ports. They will set the rules they see fit. If they insist on vaccinated pax and proof or passports, they will get what they want if you want to put in at their port. I hope the market forces play out here too, but I think cruise itineraries will be weird for the next few years on this basis. I don't know about you, but I am not interested in 80% sea days.

Can a cruise line survive long term 80% occupied was your question. But what about all the vaccinated people who have said they will not sail unless everyone (or at least the 95% proposed) are vaccinated? So, let's say half of them will follow through. That leaves 40% (half of the 80%) + the 20% unvaccinated. So now you are asking them to sail 60% occupied, which is significantly worse than 80%.

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6 minutes ago, ontheweb said:

Can a cruise line survive long term 80% occupied was your question. But what about all the vaccinated people who have said they will not sail unless everyone (or at least the 95% proposed) are vaccinated? So, let's say half of them will follow through. That leaves 40% (half of the 80%) + the 20% unvaccinated. So now you are asking them to sail 60% occupied, which is significantly worse than 80%.

 

In that scenario, sounds like those who insist on 100% vaxxed cruises might actually have a part in destroying one of their favorite vacation activities. And that's the point really - getting comfortable with the fact that (i) your vaccines protect you; and (ii) there will be unvaxxed among you is more necessity than anything else.

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1 minute ago, SumoCitrus said:

 

In that scenario, sounds like those who insist on 100% vaxxed cruises might actually have a part in destroying one of their favorite vacation activities. And that's the point really - getting comfortable with the fact that (i) your vaccines protect you; and (ii) there will be unvaxxed among you is more necessity than anything else.

Or. one could look at in the opposite way. Those who refuse to get vaccinated (or reveal that they have been vaccinated) are preventing cruises from getting started in US ports.

 

Let's see what happens in cruises from California and the Alaska cruises from Seattle. I believe both of those are now requiring vaccinations.

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2 minutes ago, ontheweb said:

Or. one could look at in the opposite way. Those who refuse to get vaccinated (or reveal that they have been vaccinated) are preventing cruises from getting started in US ports.

 

Let's see what happens in cruises from California and the Alaska cruises from Seattle. I believe both of those are now requiring vaccinations.

 

 

You can look at it that way, but it is a less tenable position.

 

We all knew from the beginning that there wouldn't be 100% vaccination. If we take your position, it's really a defeatists position, because the cruise industry will fail for certain if the standard for continued operation is 100% vaxxed. You'll never get there.

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, SumoCitrus said:

“But Diamond Princess!" doesn't cut it anymore. Weren't there just two recent cruises that had covid positive crew and/or pax? What happened to those? Are they in the gulag? We've changed how we react to this virus because we know more now....

Odyssey of the Seas had 8 crew members (not yet fully vaccinated) test positive and their inaugural sailing was delayed from July 3 to 31, with its first 4 cruises canceled.

Edited by syesmar
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49 minutes ago, POA1 said:

 

Yes, cruise lines have been building ships for decades, but the lines knew the standards they were building to. These new standards appeared with (exactly how much?) very little lead time. They also expire in November. I realize that most viruses adhere to the strict Gregorian calendar....

 

A thorough reading of the ruling allows the CDC to apply/suggest/require modifications. It also requires the names and qualifications of the scientists who provide the basis.

Well, the new standards were published in April 2020, so the cruise lines have had 14 months to get a handle on them, and the VSP, for instance is revised every few years, with new requirements added at that time, with no more or less lead time.  I see nothing in the ruling that says the CDC can "require" anything in the future, at least for covid, as any changes they submit for review would be considered as "non-binding recommendations".

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