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Cruise Line CEO Says “The Cruise Industry is Close to Devastation” in Miami-Dade Meet

Cruise Line CEO Says “The Cruise Industry is Close to Devastation” in Miami-Dade Meet

Old Sep 11, 20, 1:39 pm
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Cruise Line CEO Says “The Cruise Industry is Close to Devastation” in Miami-Dade Meet

https://www.cruisehive.com/cruise-li...-meeting/41620

It’s Time to Resume Cruises in the United States

In a meeting with the Miami-Dade County Tourism and the Ports Committee and cruise lines, CEO’s and Miami-Dade leaders have said the industry is ready to resume operations. There is a push for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) not to extend the “No Sail Order” in the U.S which is currently in place through September 30, 2020.

The meeting which took place on Thursday also included the attendance of Frank Del Rio, CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line; Arnold Donald, President, and CEO of the Carnival Corporation, Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International and Richard Sasso, Chairman of MSC Cruises in North America.

So all the major players in the U.S. had their say and there was definitely a trend that the cruise industry was ready to make a return. It was mainly a message to the CDC to say health measures are just about in place for U.S. cruises and by extending the suspension even further it will not just impact the cruise lines but local businesses, crew members around the world, and more. The impact will be huge.

Cruise Hive readers can watch the full meeting with Miami-Dade County Tourism and the Ports Committee right here.

One of the most impactful statements was from Frank Del Rio of NCL who spoke from the heart as a local Miami citizen. He started by saying that “the cruise industry is close to devastation” and the market cap of the three public companies had dropped by almost $50 billion.

He went on to say it was a shame the new NCL terminal at PortMiami was not welcoming passengers now that it has been completed. New health measures are being finalized and the NCL along with Royal Caribbean will submit their new protocols in a week to 10 days to the CDC.

He compared cruises to the airlines and was surprised that flights can go ahead with passengers so near each other and cruises can’t. Rio very emotionally said, “and yet we see airlines flying, I want someone to tell me how it’s possible that COVID-10 transmission doesn’t occur on airplanes when you’re sitting four inches away from somebody in a middle seat, yet it happens it happens on a ship that is nearly 200,000 tons.”

Arnold Donald from the Carnival Corp played an emotional video of a local business owner in Miami who has been hit hard due to the suspension of operations. It shows the cruise industry has a knock-on effect and is a message to the CDC that another extension simply will be devastating.

It wasn’t just the cruise line execs that wanted cruises to resume as Commissioner Rebeca Sosa was in support of the cruise lines and urged the CDC to allow cruises to restart just like many other industries.

The CDC has already opened up for public comments about the current cruise situation and that will come to a close on September 21. However, there is the worry that it may take weeks more to assess the public comments and make a decision. This could lead to a further suspension on operations in the U.S.

Cruise Lines in the U.S. that are members of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) have voluntarily suspended operations until at least October 31, 2020. Cruise ships are safe and in fact just or more safe than on land. It’s time to kick start the industry just like in Europe.
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Old Sep 13, 20, 5:17 am
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These are the same corporate "leaders" who ignored warnings, downplayed the risk, continued sailing after the Dawn Princess quarantine, abandoned crew around the world and have been pressuring government and health officials to let them return to business. They've already proven they'll put their share value ahead of the lives of the people who work and sail with them so anyone with a grain of sense should not trust anything they say.
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Old Sep 13, 20, 6:15 am
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I am in my early forties and have been on two (mediterranean) cruises much to the amusement of many of my friends around the same age who see this as something you do later in life. We had actually planned to do another cruise in 2021 but unfortunately I just can't see that happening now. Its extremely tough for the cruiseline and aviation industries at the moment. Given what has happened over the last 6 months, especially to those who were actually vacationing on cruise ships when lockdown restrictions came into force, I'm not sure how the industry can bounce back and provide the reassurances that customers need. Perhaps there is more hope for some of the higher end mid size ships where people are more spread out (and pay a premium for that) but not sure how it will be commercially viable for some of those bigger ships that cater for 2,000-3,000. Companies like Royal Caribbean have opened up cruising to more people but the risk now is that it becomes something far more exclusive again which is sad. For me I don't think I would cruise again with confidence until a vaccine is found.
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Old Sep 13, 20, 11:17 am
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Originally Posted by Badenoch View Post
These are the same corporate "leaders" who ignored warnings, downplayed the risk, ...
Maybe they were listening to Trump, who repeatedly said it's no worse than the flu (and still does).
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Old Sep 13, 20, 12:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Daniel CH View Post
I am in my early forties and have been on two (mediterranean) cruises much to the amusement of many of my friends around the same age who see this as something you do later in life. We had actually planned to do another cruise in 2021 but unfortunately I just can't see that happening now. Its extremely tough for the cruiseline and aviation industries at the moment. Given what has happened over the last 6 months, especially to those who were actually vacationing on cruise ships when lockdown restrictions came into force, I'm not sure how the industry can bounce back and provide the reassurances that customers need. Perhaps there is more hope for some of the higher end mid size ships where people are more spread out (and pay a premium for that) but not sure how it will be commercially viable for some of those bigger ships that cater for 2,000-3,000. Companies like Royal Caribbean have opened up cruising to more people but the risk now is that it becomes something far more exclusive again which is sad. For me I don't think I would cruise again with confidence until a vaccine is found.
The real issue is not the cruise lines. I am certain that they can and will institute measures that would keep most passengers safe and virus free.

The problem is with the world's countries. No one, at this time, has any plan in place to deal with illness outside of their borders, other than to prevent the sick from entering their country.

This is what makes this disease far different than any other in the recent past. We all know that pre-Covid, passengers on cruise ships came down with all sorts of illness, from infections to MI's. This didn't stop the cruise. The ship would simply treat the patient locally in their infirmary or off-load the passenger to the care of a local hospital and continue on with the cruise.

With the advent of Covid, one sick passenger and the cruise ship was literally locked out of ports and countries. The sick passengers couldn't be transported to a local hospital and the ship's manifest was denied entry and departure. As far as I know, there is still no protocol for dealing with ships that have active infections aboard them. This is the biggest hang up for the resumption of cruising.

Until countries get their act together on how to deal with the importation of the virus, cruises are going to be hamstrung in their ability to operate.
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Old Sep 13, 20, 10:16 pm
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The CDC RFC period began July 21 and ends Sept 21
https://www.federalregister.gov/docu...n-of-passenger
The health advisory panel was opened July 7
https://www.bizjournals.com/southflo...visory-pa.html

I listened to part of recording https://miamidade.granicus.com/Media...meta_id=340198 and most expresses concern about the unemployment in tourism, airlines, and port construction. Arnold Donald, President & CEO of Carnival Corp, states that the proposal is to manage the associate risks [of COVID-19] without any undue burden on government resources. The cruise line intends to submit their proposal by Sept 21. Frank Del Rio of NCL stated they'd be submitting or proposal within a week to 10 days.. Miami-Dade Tourism asked that the proposal be shared with local legislature a few days ahead to encourage support and also asked the CDC to expedite their answer to get cruises operational again with due speed. None of the cruiseline CEOs any shared details of what the proposed measures will be, though MSC did briefly state some of the measures they have taken to restart cruise overseas. There were at least two well filmed PR videos where they speak about the unemployment and local economy needs.

Attendees were several cruise line corp CEOs, Miami-Dade Tourism and the Ports Committee, Miami-Dade District 10 Comissioner, Miami-Dade District 13 Commissioner, and Longshoreman association. These are all industry members who are pro-opening.

Opinions below:

The panel title was "DISCUSSION ON THE OPENING PLAN FOR THE CRUISE LINES". Very little was shared about concrete actions and detailed steps in said plans. Hoping the actual proposal and detailed reply will be shared.

The CDC opened the information request in late July and the cruise health panel has not submitted them, yet they're asking the CDC to speed up response time when they do receive the proposal. Miami Dade gave plenty of air time to this and coordinated such industry attendance & PR when there's no action which was taken. No actions were proposed and nothing offered up "for free, regardless of CDC decision", either, like concrete contract for testing PCR capacity, PPE stock piling, or mobile medical emergency team contracts. Yes, these companies probably do employ tens of thousand Floridians so they should be able air their issues. They haven't submitted a proposal to the CDC, yet, and are already asking for a response while trying to pull heartstrings in commercial/rally grade PR spots instead of the actual plans.

Originally Posted by radonc1 View Post
The real issue is not the cruise lines. I am certain that they can and will institute measures that would keep most passengers safe and virus free.
...
Until countries get their act together on how to deal with the importation of the virus, cruises are going to be hamstrung in their ability to operate.
Originally Posted by Badenoch View Post
These are the same corporate "leaders" who ignored warnings, downplayed the risk, continued sailing after the Dawn Princess quarantine, abandoned crew around the world and have been pressuring government and health officials to let them return to business. They've already proven they'll put their share value ahead of the lives of the people who work and sail with them so anyone with a grain of sense should not trust anything they say.
Smaller island nations and other countries without significant regulations impacting the cruise industry probably want to see proposals. Cruises have gone to some smaller communities in developed countries, too, which may not have the medical supplies, staff, COVID testing capacity, or food + housing needed to quarantine an unknown number of potentially infectious people for some duration.

Several countries have done better than cruise lines in how they've contained COVID from cruises. Countries had different resources and options open to them, but I think it is fair to say several countries were testing, tracing, and notifying those who came in contact with cruise related positives at the outset while cruise lines did not even send a timely email when notified by health authorities. Cruise lines provided the passenger lists upon request to specific local health authorities but did not notify other passengers. Will cruise lines notify the port communities of any positives and provide testing resources to help keep local community transmission lower? If excursions don't use any local staff or allow any shore entertainment like drinking and dining, what are these ports getting other than port fees and waste? Is that enough reward if you're also expected to receive any COVID positive passengers? What about positive crew?

I don't know why other countries must "get their act together" for international cruise tourism at this time. If countries have reasonably assessed their capacity for incoming citizens and lawful residents with a possibility to expand to allow business travel, certain domestic travel, and look to restart international travel in limited manageable numbers, should they also be asked if they can handle a few thousand people per ship in port? Does catering to one (significant) employment sector impair their ability to safely reopen schools, public services, in-person worship, non-emergency medical care, and local businesses right now? What about non-cruise travel which comes by a few hundred per plane given current reduced air travel and spends more in that week than a cruiser? Which should come first? Some countries and ports may be able to handle the necessary juggling. Others are doing what they are currently able and may honestly have to say no given their current situations and resources. These circumstances might change, too. It may not always be a no, especially if cruise lines will help provide what is lacking, or a good and safe vaccine becomes readily available.
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Old Sep 14, 20, 7:51 am
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Originally Posted by radonc1 View Post
The real issue is not the cruise lines. I am certain that they can and will institute measures that would keep most passengers safe and virus free.

The problem is with the world's countries. No one, at this time, has any plan in place to deal with illness outside of their borders, other than to prevent the sick from entering their country.

This is what makes this disease far different than any other in the recent past. We all know that pre-Covid, passengers on cruise ships came down with all sorts of illness, from infections to MI's. This didn't stop the cruise. The ship would simply treat the patient locally in their infirmary or off-load the passenger to the care of a local hospital and continue on with the cruise.

With the advent of Covid, one sick passenger and the cruise ship was literally locked out of ports and countries. The sick passengers couldn't be transported to a local hospital and the ship's manifest was denied entry and departure. As far as I know, there is still no protocol for dealing with ships that have active infections aboard them. This is the biggest hang up for the resumption of cruising.

Until countries get their act together on how to deal with the importation of the virus, cruises are going to be hamstrung in their ability to operate.
Seriously? Confidence in cruise companies to "keep passengers safe and virus free" and that "the problem is with the world's countries?"

Canada is one of those pesky "problem" countries and you are absolutely damn right the priority is not putting together a "plan" to manage COVID-19 patients because the cruise company wants nothing more than to dump them on our shores and carry on sailing.
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Old Sep 14, 20, 10:59 am
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Originally Posted by Badenoch View Post
Seriously? Confidence in cruise companies to "keep passengers safe and virus free" and that "the problem is with the world's countries?"

Canada is one of those pesky "problem" countries and you are absolutely damn right the priority is not putting together a "plan" to manage COVID-19 patients because the cruise company wants nothing more than to dump them on our shores and carry on sailing.
And the above is exactly the problem the cruise companies are dealing with
.
Until countries can get away from the following...........

"I don;t want your dirty Covid passengers polluting my shores".

I think that any international travel is going to be beset with issues

If the official national attitude mirrors my quote in some way, I think the Cruise companies will have a long way to go before setting their sights on sailing again.
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Old Sep 14, 20, 12:56 pm
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Originally Posted by radonc1 View Post
And the above is exactly the problem the cruise companies are dealing with
.
Until countries can get away from the following...........

"I don;t want your dirty Covid passengers polluting my shores".

I think that any international travel is going to be beset with issues

If the official national attitude mirrors my quote in some way, I think the Cruise companies will have a long way to go before setting their sights on sailing again.
The onus is on the cruise companies to dispel that attitude. It is not up to the countries to accommodate pampered leisure travellers by the mega-boat load if they present a public health risk to their own citizens.
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Old Sep 14, 20, 8:13 pm
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Or it is up to countries to better educate their citizens that COVID-19 doesn't really present that horrible of a public health risk and to do a better job protecting those who actually might be at risk rather than sticking their heads in the sand and pretending that things like keeping cruise ships out will somehow prevent the virus from ever reaching them.
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Old Sep 15, 20, 12:15 am
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Originally Posted by DJ_Iceman View Post
Or it is up to countries to better educate their citizens that COVID-19 doesn't really present that horrible of a public health risk and to do a better job protecting those who actually might be at risk rather than sticking their heads in the sand and pretending that things like keeping cruise ships out will somehow prevent the virus from ever reaching them.
I think most countries have encountered COVID-19 by this point. I personally don't feel like the EU is taking that head-in-sand attitude for EU passport holders as evidenced by cruises running in certain areas, in adjusted routes. EU do have published guides around travel. https://ec.europa.eu/info/live-work-...us-pandemic_en With reopening comes a wave https://www.travelandleisure.com/tra...s-more-than-us and MSC Magnifica is still scheduled to sail https://www.travelpulse.com/news/cru...magnifica.html after cancelling a cruise due to softening demand due to traveling to Greece with mandatory testing upon return.

Canada, with national healthcare and currently somewhat closed border, should be asking questions. They're not going to be on a cruise route until it gets warmer, anyhow, and the snowbirds are probably already asking their government if some international travel will be allowed without a mandatory 14 day quarantine https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration...xemptions.html (at least on paper?).

So then we look at Mexico which already has medical tourism business. Cancun has been open via flights for tourism is easing into opening some more. Cancun and Playa Del Carmen already have existing resorts infrastructure and likely some medical tourism facilities. Cozumel is also open via flights but may have some medical challenges https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5990945/ or perception of medical challenges. So the cruise lines should be conferencing those tourism bureaus, medical tourism operators, and insurance policy writers. Other island nations are also reopening for tourism with an emphasis on economic need https://www.travelandleisure.com/tra...l-restrictions

There are a few island nations which haven't reported COVID-19 in the shielding category, notably in the South Pacific. https://www.statista.com/chart/21279...navirus-cases/ Samoa probably still has measles fresh on their minds https://www.thelancet.com/journals/l...053-0/fulltext and the Marshallese expats who were impacted by COVID-19 at a much higher percentage https://www.latimes.com/world-nation...okane-arkansas

I was actually scheduled to visit the South Pacific in April 2020 via cruise ship and followed along with the news closely as COVID-19 stopped a lot of travel and stranded many cruises. I had money in it, so to speak. Some of these islands didn't have labs to run PCR tests at the time and sent them on to Fiji. American Samoa, even with military presence, lacked the ability to test citizens at the outset https://www.nbcnews.com/health/healt...-test-n1167776 and had 6,200 test kits in July https://www.kitv.com/story/42343929/...ses-of-covid19 I will point to their obesity numbers https://www.cnn.com/2015/05/01/healt...ity/index.html https://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/88/7/10-010710/en/ Respectfully, as a directly impacted traveler, I believe these nations should do what is best for the health of their citizens. It's likely totally valid to say that their economies are also undergoing significant hardship and mental health might be in decline. But they clearly have a different set of options and resources than Miami-Dade county.
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Last edited by freecia; Sep 15, 20 at 12:41 am
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Old Sep 15, 20, 5:15 am
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Originally Posted by freecia View Post
Canada, with national healthcare and currently somewhat closed border, should be asking questions. They're not going to be on a cruise route until it gets warmer, anyhow, and the snowbirds are probably already asking their government if some international travel will be allowed without a mandatory 14 day quarantine https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration...xemptions.html (at least on paper?).
Here's the answer to the questions.
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Old Sep 15, 20, 6:12 am
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Originally Posted by Badenoch View Post
The onus is on the cruise companies to dispel that attitude. It is not up to the countries to accommodate pampered leisure travellers by the mega-boat load if they present a public health risk to their own citizens.
This is an interesting comment.

Any outsider from a country poses a "threat" to the "safety" of that country's citizenry. It doesn't have to be medical, it can be ideological. (Use China as an example )

Cruise lines have always had to deal with infectious diseases. For example, use Norovirus. Cruise ships have been dealing with Norovirus outbreaks for years with appropriate mitigation techniques (isolation, sanitizing, gloves etc.) But, when someone got sick enough to need hospitalization, that passenger was transferred at the next port of call to a hospital and treated. The ship wasn't denied entry into the port of country and transfer of the patient to the hospital didn't make international news.


My point on cruises was simply that prior to Covid, there were internationally agreed upon protocols for dealing with cruise ship illness in regards to country and port entry and medical emergencies.

All of that went out the window with Covid. And your link continues to show the incredible shift to nationalism and insular country behavior now being manifest in politics and news media. Until that new "normal" in international behavior shifts, what we will be left with is what @freecia posted with basically cruises that start in one country and end in the same country with ports of call limited to that country.

Domestic cruises. There isn't many cruise lines out there that can survive this business model..
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Old Sep 15, 20, 8:48 am
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Originally Posted by radonc1 View Post
This is an interesting comment.

Any outsider from a country poses a "threat" to the "safety" of that country's citizenry. It doesn't have to be medical, it can be ideological. (Use China as an example )

Cruise lines have always had to deal with infectious diseases. For example, use Norovirus. Cruise ships have been dealing with Norovirus outbreaks for years with appropriate mitigation techniques (isolation, sanitizing, gloves etc.) But, when someone got sick enough to need hospitalization, that passenger was transferred at the next port of call to a hospital and treated. The ship wasn't denied entry into the port of country and transfer of the patient to the hospital didn't make international news.


My point on cruises was simply that prior to Covid, there were internationally agreed upon protocols for dealing with cruise ship illness in regards to country and port entry and medical emergencies.

All of that went out the window with Covid. And your link continues to show the incredible shift to nationalism and insular country behavior now being manifest in politics and news media. Until that new "normal" in international behavior shifts, what we will be left with is what @freecia posted with basically cruises that start in one country and end in the same country with ports of call limited to that country.

Domestic cruises. There isn't many cruise lines out there that can survive this business model..
Norovirus can't be reasonably compared to CV-19. Noro didn't kill close to 200,000 Americans in 6 months. Nor do Noro patients occupy ICUs or ventilators. "Internationally agreed upon protocols" to dump CV-19 patients at the nearest port present a very different risk and the prospect of ICU beds or ventilators being hogged by leisure travellers at the expense of the citizens of the country who paid for those medical facilities is completely untenable.
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Old Sep 15, 20, 8:53 am
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Originally Posted by DJ_Iceman View Post
Or it is up to countries to better educate their citizens that COVID-19 doesn't really present that horrible of a public health risk and to do a better job protecting those who actually might be at risk rather than sticking their heads in the sand and pretending that things like keeping cruise ships out will somehow prevent the virus from ever reaching them.
Um, like uh, everyone?
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