Safely returning to sailing: "Healthy Sail Panel" recommendations

randumb0

Party at Mickey's
Joined
Oct 25, 2011
I'm very surprised that there's no mention of testing prior to boarding. If Disney doesn't implement that then I probably won't be going
 

Husker Mike

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 25, 2019
Let's assume the demand is high for cruising and most early cruises next year are already booked past 30% capacity. What would be the fair way to get it down to 30%?
30% was an arbitrary value that's the inverse of 70%. But before someone says that's too low, look at other large venues that have reopened to audiences. Most seem to be capped around the 20%-25% mark. (I thought I saw where DisneyWorld might be capped around 10% right now.) So I think 30% is pretty generous to the cruise lines, to be honest. (And it's a recognition that this number seems awfully close to the break-even point, per what was said in Galveston recently.)

How do you get to that point? Well, for starters, many people booked these cruises early on pre-pandemic or with the expectation that this would all be over in weeks, not years. They haven't cancelled YET because they want to wait-and-see, but at some point, many will. Obviously, you can't wait until boarding time to realize you are full, but many people will choose to rebook with their credits, given the flexibility to do so. But some people will see the limitations and say "I don't want that." Others will say "We're higher risk; we can't go." (The organizer of our Facebook cruise group already has said this, but he's keeping the group going anyway.)

You might think getting to that 30% level will be difficult, but I suspect it won't be nearly that hard. I remember reading that the Green Bay Packers asked their season ticketholders if they wanted to attend or defer their tickets to the future, and it was almost unanimous not to attend. At the end, you might end up having to treat it like an overbooked flight and offer additional concessions at the last minute.

Personally, if they come out and say the cruise will be 70% full, I'll probably cancel or reschedule because I don't see how that could be safe. Under 50%, it becomes something worth considering. Masks don't bother me that much, and I wasn't even sure about any excursions off the boat. If I feel I can socially distance on the deck (even with a mask) on a sea day, I might be up for a cruise.
 

closetmickey

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 2, 2009
No way practical to implement testing! So you need to arrive anywhere from 5 days to 24 hours prior to sailing, get a test, then what? You quarantine someplace (who's going to pay for this? I sure ain't) How guaranteed this will work, you get the test then while you're "waiting" you come in contact with a guest at the hotel you're staying at a worker there or someone in a restaurant or shop or where ever and might be exposed then, then HOW do you know if you get on the ship after this you're not positive, you won't be passing it on to your family or other guests or crew on the ship? This just doesn't make sense, with out an IMMEDIATE test at the DOOR of the port terminal with rapid results right then (5 min) where you are sure you're negative (of course this doesn't speak to the exposure incubation period from contact as stated above from someone you just before you go to the port) I honestly don't see this as any kind of viable solution to resume cruising and protecting yourself, other guests and crew members.
I agree. Its a bit of show at that point. It’s similar to the tests some Universities required this fall. So much exposure could have taken place between testing and move in. That being said- I’m ALL for finding a way to resume cruising in the near future:)
 

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  • cvjw

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 22, 2005
    My parents ( mid 70’s) both had the virus this summer. They went to the public testing site in their county for testing. Got the test very easily, results were a different matter. Their dr had to test them in his office and walk the kits to the hospital lab for faster results. It was almost a week before their public results were back. That is useless for cruising. They of course were positive, but if you didn’t have symptoms, you could catch the virus before your negative results came back. They knew they had been exposed, so they quarantined before getting their positive results back.

    Need testing at the pier with immediate results for cruising.
     

    MonaMN

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 21, 2014
    I agree. Its a bit of show at that point. It’s similar to the tests some Universities required this fall. So much exposure could have taken place between testing and move in. That being said- I’m ALL for finding a way to resume cruising in the near future:)
    And let’s say you’ve paid for your cruise, end up testing positive... and then what? You are out thousands of dollars? I imagine travel insurance will be difficult to get (or cost prohibitive) that allows for this scenario. And it isn’t the cruise lines fault... so how exactly does this work out?

    So no... not likely to risk taking a cruise at this point.
     

    Starwind

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 7, 2014
    (Bolding is mine)

    The wording here is interesting to me. I wonder if this means that you could leave the ship while in port if you were on some type of independently arranged excursion as long as it was pre-approved by the cruise line. If that's the case, I would be more inclined to sail. It still wouldn't allow someone to just roam freely on their own, but might not limit everyone to excursions offered by the cruise line.

    Or maybe I'm just reading too much into that statement and our options will be the overpriced cattle call cruise ship excursions or staying on the ship. :confused3
    The beginning of the section on excursions.. starts page 54; there are additional recommendation to the one below.

    QUOTE

    ii. Guest Excursions

    Prior to COVID-19, cruise operators allowed for both fully curated excursions and self-guided excursions
    and independent exploration at destinations of interest. However, the risk of exposure for the people in
    communities that are visited, and for cruise ship guests and crew, increase as more mixing between
    these groups occurs. Therefore, the Panel recommends that cruise operators initially prohibit selfguided
    tours and independent exploration and only allow certain curated indoor activities until further
    notice. This is a significant change to the cruise experience, so the Panel recommends this information
    be communicated clearly and early on to guests. Cruise operators should also leverage their existing
    agreements with vendors to further implement controls to reduce the likelihood of guests contracting
    SARS-CoV-2 while on shore.

    Recommendation 59: During the initial return to sailing, cruise operators should only allow guests
    debarking from a ship at a destination port to participate in cruise line-sponsored or verified
    excursions as a way of limiting potential exposures in the destinations they visit.

    Given that cruise operators will not be able to fully control the SARS-CoV-2 mitigation efforts (e.g.,
    sanitation, social distancing) of every venue at the destinations of interest, the Panel recommends that
    in the startup phase, guests should only be permitted to disembark at ports if they are taking cruise line sponsored
    excursions where such efforts would be subject to vendor management considerations
    described below. Cruise operators should consider employing strategies that would make these cruise
    line-sponsored excursions more appealing to guests (e.g., potentially reconsidering the cost of curated
    experiences, offering a wider variety of excursions to private beach locations) than self-exploration or
    other externally sponsored excursions. As noted above, guests should be well informed about this new
    requirement at the time of booking and again prior to sailing.

    An additional key component of maintaining the safety of guests is communicating with guests about
    the need to remain diligent in their efforts to maintain health and safety for the cruise ship population
    as they embark on their excursions.

    END QUOTE
     

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  • Starwind

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 7, 2014
    I'm very surprised that there's no mention of testing prior to boarding. If Disney doesn't implement that then I probably won't be going
    See the second post: https://www.disboards.com/threads/safely-returning-to-sailing-healthy-sail-panel-recommendations.3813784/post-62332181

    Testing before travel [1-5 d prior to boarding] and then also "... As discussed in the crew testing recommendation, if rapid, reliable, and clinically valid testing options become widely available, the addition of a second test at the pier or immediately before boarding would improve confidence in the testing regimen’s ability to prevent SARS-CoV-2 from entering the ship. Using adequately sensitive testing methods, the likelihood of missing a SARS-CoV-2 infection in an individual because of false negatives is extremely low under this double testing scenario. ..."
     

    T & R

    More cowbell !!!
    Joined
    May 8, 2017
    There's no way to create a Covid free environment unless you're on the International Space Station. So maybe the showing a negative test that's within 5 days is not meant to eliminate the possibility of Covid (because that cannot be done), maybe it's just better than nothing. Having a group that within the last 5 days was Covid free is better than a group with no negative tests at all. I know when I get on an airplane or go to a casino, bar or Walmart, I do not have to show any tests, so at least on a cruise a test within 5 days is better than nothing at all which is what all other businesses are. If someone tests negative within 5 days and catches Covid enroute to DCL, how long does it take the viral load to build up in the body to be positive, contagious and spreading? If you're on a 3 night Bahama cruise and catch Covid enroute to embarkation, I doubt that you would be contagious prior to the cruise ending. This may also just be rhetoric until the manufacturing/supply of rapid tests has caught up which may be done between now and December when DCL is scheduled to resume. So the whole thing may be irrelevant if we have enough rapid tests available by December.
     

    Starwind

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 7, 2014
    And let’s say you’ve paid for your cruise, end up testing positive... and then what? You are out thousands of dollars? I imagine travel insurance will be difficult to get (or cost prohibitive) that allows for this scenario. And it isn’t the cruise lines fault... so how exactly does this work out?

    So no... not likely to risk taking a cruise at this point.
    Well, the word "insurance" isn't in their report...

    I have seen discussion elsewhere that the cruise lines might offer (possibly mandatory) insurance that would cover such a situation. For example, a modification of the "Cancel For Any Reason" provision of their existing policies.

    For ourselves, we wouldn't travel without insurance that would cover us for this scenario. Fortunately, our planned upcoming cruise is an Alaskan one, so we would at least be departing out of Canada, though a different province than we live in. But testing positive at that point one would be required to go into isolation for at least 14 days [longer if still ill] and may require medical care. That would be my primary concern at that point.

    The CDC's public questions did have some related to refunds/credits and such for people denied boarding.

    I would expect either CDC will mandate policy specific for covid or the cruise lines will adopt policy specific for covid-related denials [separate from other "normal" reasons for being denied boarding]. For our family, I don't know that we would sail without an explicit policy, even with travel insurance that "should" cover the situation.

    SW
     

    bcwife76

    DisneyMomma
    Joined
    Dec 10, 2014
    Being tested 5 to 1 day before the cruise... I'm flying from Canada. Where and when am I supposed to get tested?

    It can take up to 6 days to receive our results right now.

    I sure hope the cruise lines will test us.
    THIS! We're in BC and you can get tested as long as you exhibit at least ONE symptom. If you are testing 'just because' or asymptomatic as they call it, it's way more difficult (and can actually cost us I believe?) Plus yes, then we are on a plane, maybe in a rental car, hotel stay the night before....numerous places we can get it in between getting the test done at home (if possible) and getting on the ship. Doing it at the terminal is the ONLY way to get an accurate one (if that's possible).
     
  • randumb0

    Party at Mickey's
    Joined
    Oct 25, 2011
    @bcwife76 When cruising restarts there probably won't be many internationals aboard US ships for that reason along with quarantining upon return
     

    DCL Repeaters

    DCL addicts
    Joined
    Apr 8, 2001
    There's no way to create a Covid free environment unless you're on the International Space Station. So maybe the showing a negative test that's within 5 days is not meant to eliminate the possibility of Covid (because that cannot be done), maybe it's just better than nothing. Having a group that within the last 5 days was Covid free is better than a group with no negative tests at all. I know when I get on an airplane or go to a casino, bar or Walmart, I do not have to show any tests, so at least on a cruise a test within 5 days is better than nothing at all which is what all other businesses are. If someone tests negative within 5 days and catches Covid enroute to DCL, how long does it take the viral load to build up in the body to be positive, contagious and spreading? If you're on a 3 night Bahama cruise and catch Covid enroute to embarkation, I doubt that you would be contagious prior to the cruise ending. This may also just be rhetoric until the manufacturing/supply of rapid tests has caught up which may be done between now and December when DCL is scheduled to resume. So the whole thing may be irrelevant if we have enough rapid tests available by December.
    DCL is scheduled to resume sailing in December? Don’t recall seeing anything official about any cruise line starting on any specific date.
     

    T & R

    More cowbell !!!
    Joined
    May 8, 2017
    DCL is scheduled to resume sailing in December? Don’t recall seeing anything official about any cruise line starting on any specific date.
    I know but DCL's only published schedule has them resuming operations on 12/12/20. Although we can feel that may be unlikely, any other date given by anyone else is just speculation. According to DCL it's officially 12/12/20.
     

    HiStitch626

    Tookie bah wah bah!
    Joined
    Sep 21, 2020
    I got wondering about distancing on the ships if you have a veranda cabin. Obviously, if you’re inside your cabin with all the doors closed that’s not an issue. But, would there be limits on being able to access your veranda? Would they make sure that no one was occupying a cabin either side of you to create distance. Does the fact that the ship moves and the wind could carry a cough or a sneeze downwind create an issue?
     

    mevelandry

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2013
    THIS! We're in BC and you can get tested as long as you exhibit at least ONE symptom. If you are testing 'just because' or asymptomatic as they call it, it's way more difficult (and can actually cost us I believe?) Plus yes, then we are on a plane, maybe in a rental car, hotel stay the night before....numerous places we can get it in between getting the test done at home (if possible) and getting on the ship. Doing it at the terminal is the ONLY way to get an accurate one (if that's possible).
    I agree. 100%.
     

    disneygeek401

    figmentfan
    Joined
    Mar 2, 2018
    I would be shocked if there is no rapid testing. Especially with these companies developing rapid tests cheap and limited capacity likely I would be surprised if there is no rapid testing.

    There is no way to create a covid free environment. The only way to stay immune to covid is to never leave your house, never come into contact with anyone. No matter how you slice it, all of these mitigation efforts cannot prevent COVID. Masking is probably the best option (at least for now) but no one wants to wear them, and there are assuredly going to be offenders of the rule wherever you go. A vaccine could be required, but the vaccine probably is not going to be effective for everyone. Rapid tests only give you a snapshot in time, you could test positive the next day or that evening.

    We just need to live with the virus and learn how to mitigate it the best we can. Hopefully increased production of rapid testing and vaccines will help us get to a position where more normal life can resume. I hope cruising can resume soon and I hope it goes well. I hope that whatever mitigation efforts that are in place work and cruising gets up and running again.
     

    monkeydawn

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 16, 2019
    I don't know what this means, but Disney throwing out 70% as "reduced" seems like only token acceptance of this concept. If anything, I think starting at 30% makes far more sense, and then it's something that can be ratcheted up gradually.
    I feel I am pretty conservative about Covid. I dont love 70% but I think as much as 50% to start might be OK. Does anyone know the average "party size" on DCL sailings? Because if you think of each party as a bubble then you only have to distance between bubbles and I'd thing that 50% occupancy would probably be enough to achieve this even if the bubbles werent always together. Id anticipate that the staff would be reduced by the same or similar amount as the guests.

    I have a far bigger problem with the testing recommendations than the occupancy rate. Right now testing, distancing and masks are our biggest defenses. Masks are impractical for a lot of the cruising activities. Perfect distancing will not happen on cruises unless you got down to a ridiculous occupancy rate of like 10-15% (which I am not advocating). That leaves testing as our best defense. I like having to show up with one test 1-5 days old. But Id also like to see an additional fast test at the pier and possibly additional rapid testing every 1-2 days. I know that last bit is a pipe dream but I would think those first two should be able to be accomplished before we truly contemplate restarting.
     
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