The Centers For Disease Control has been posting the comments it sought from the public to help determine when to lift its no-sail order, and the majority of the 1,000+ remarks received so far have been decidedly in favor of allowing ships back on the seas.
TravelPulse took a look at many of the comments published so far, and the prevailing sentiment is that people are ready to cruise again.
“We need to learn how to live with a virus that has a very very high survival rate, 99.9% if you include all the people that have had it but did not report it,” wrote one respondent. “Let the cruise ships survive. If you continue to hold them down you’ll destroy an industry which will have far worse implications than the virus could inflict. I trust that ships will be safer than the average restaurant. Do NOT push back sailings any more! Stop interfering with our lives and making matters worse!”
A week after extending its no-sail order through September 30, 2020, the CDC on July 21 sought public input before making any further decisions on whether cruise lines can start sailing again.
The government agency put a notice in the Federal Register asking for comments from the public on “cruise ship planning and infrastructure (and) resumption of passenger operations,” among other items in a 28-question survey.
The deadline is September 21.
“I say have us sign waivers prior to boarding that says we will not hold cruise or cdc responsible for cruising. that we understand risks. limit capacity on ships, make masks mandatory if getting off the cruise but not on the cruise. have alot of sanitizer stations acceptable; close off bathrooms have us use our room bathrooms,” one person wrote. “IT’S TIME TO SAIL!!! we have waited long enough! who knows when the virus will go away. if we can sail during flu season we can sail during this too!!!!!!”
There were, of course, some concerns.
“Since the CDC is looking at opening up Cruise dates the first of October, and most school age children will be in school, this means a majority of cruisers will be older and among the more vulnerable to catching infections. The fact that a lot of cruises leave out of Texas and Florida ports, 2 major hot spots currently, this just increases the risk,” commented one man. “The fact that most cruises offer buffet dinning, close pool side seating and show seating, again increases the risk. Having been on many cruises I cannot see how social distancing will be enforced. On a cruise I paid for before in the fall of 2019 for this October 2020, the ship was almost at maximum capacity when I made our reservations. So limiting the number of passengers does not seem possible. I feel the CDC should push out the date to open US Cruising till 2021, to give cruise lines a chance to book cruises with decreased capacity minimizing the risk to passengers.”
Questions on the survey include such queries as “What mental health services should cruise ship operators provide to crew and passengers during quarantine or isolation?” and “What precautions should the cruise line industry take to safely disembark passengers and crew without transmitting COVID-19 into local seaport communities?” as well as “What innovations should cruise ship operators develop to reduce transmission of COVID-19 on board ships and how would these innovations be effective?”
One person responded angrily to that last one.
“It is totally ridiculous to ask that question. This will be transmitted anywhere in the world, not just on ships. They should indeed have the right to quarantine ill passengers/crew, make sure hands are washed, temperatures taken frequently for now. Masks are worthless,” the person wrote.
Added another person: “I have read some information via various news sources about the joint venture of Royal Caribbean & Norwegian cruise lines to develop a document of new safety protocols & processes. While not all-encompassing, these new protocols & processes for keeping guests & crew safe, ultimate sanitation, etc., has made me feel confident that the cruise lines are taking COVID-19 very seriously. The panels, clearly made up of people with specific backgrounds to provide expertise & advice are the best of the best. It would seem to reason that a great amount of effort & time went into the document that will be provided to the CDC for review & acceptance. I am hopeful the CDC trusts in those who contributed to the document, accepts the cruise lines proposals & ends the no sail order.”
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