Cruise Bruise News Wednesday Wow – March 18, 2020 – First thing first, for those of you who are not aware, we are in Seattle. Gary and I are are “sheltering in place” and are “social distancing”. We both a have an ‘undiagnosed croupy cough’. There is no test available to us, at this point in time. Confirmed Cases Of COVID-19 In The U.S. Reaches 6000 (see video bel0w)
We plan to go live at some point via Facebook as we do our first walk about the sheltering in place neighborhood. Everything here is at a standstill. Almost everyone is not working, or like us are working from home. Gary drove his last Uber trip yesterday, working only a couple of hours. He has a spray in our vehicle, consistently sprayed the car and wore a mask the last day.
Since I’m sick, the urge to go back to daily posts tugs at me, but trying to survive this bout, given my history with cancer and the removal of lymph nodes, I must consider the long time results of working instead of resting would not be wise. So, while this is not all-inclusive, I will try to add more next week.
The relocation of our office for April 1, has been put on hold, as the move was to be from King County to a county, a couple of counties to the south. Moving outside of the county is simply not possible.
United States State Department Issues Cruise Warning
The U.S. State Department is warning U.S. citizens not to take cruises, delivering what could be a major blow to one of South Florida’s largest industries.
In a travel advisory issued Sunday evening, the State Department said there is an increased risk of infection of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, on cruise ships.
“U.S. citizens, particularly travelers with underlying health conditions, should not travel by cruise ship.”
Canada Bans All Cruise Ships Capacity 500+
The federal government has temporarily barred all cruise ships and ferries that carry more than 500 people, including crew, from docking in Canada until July to protect against the growing COVID-19 pandemic.
In a public address Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that “cruise season is suspended until July.”
Transport Minister Marc Garneau says that the government will re-examine the ban after June 30.
Currently, the government is still allowing smaller cruise ships and ferries to dock in Canadian waters and is enacting specific precautions to monitor passengers that disembark.
Brazil Quarantines Silver Shadow Passengers Crew
A 78-year-old Canadian man with fever, coughing and breathing difficulties was sent to a private hospital in the state capital Recife after disembarking.
The remaining 318 passengers and 291 crew members will be kept in isolation in their cabins.
Brazilian pharmaceutical regulator Anvisa immediately suspended disembarkation and requested the return of those who had already left the ship.
“As a preventive measure and additional health control, port management also prohibited the vessel’s garbage from being discharged,” Pernambuco’s health department said in a statement, adding that the pier is isolated.
Norway bans Cruise Ship Passengers From Bergen, Stavanger
The ban comes into force immediately, with the first ship impacted to be the AIDAaura, according to the Bergen port website. The ship operated by German line AIDA Cruises carries up to 1,300 passengers and is due in Bergen on Thursday afternoon, having spent Wednesday morning in Trondheim where passengers were permitted to leave the ship. The statement makes no mention of an end date for the ban.
Bergen had been the only Norwegian port to announce such measures, but Stavanger quickly followed with their own announcement as the number of COVID-19 cases in Norway starts to rise rapidly.
Princess Cruises Viking Cruises Coronavirus Cruise Cancellations
Princess Cruises will halt global operations of its 18 cruise ships for two months after two of its ships carried passengers who were diagnosed with the coronavirus.
The move came after another cruise ship operator, Viking, announced it would also suspend all ocean and river cruises until May 1. Viking has 16 ocean-going ships and more than 70 vessels overall.
No part of the travel industry has been hit harder by the coronavirus outbreak than the cruise industry. The demand for cruises has fallen dramatically. Health authorities have urged the elderly not to take cruises, which could expose them to the virus.
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)Ban Passengers Under 70
The Cruise Lines International Association proposed a plan to White House officials for the new policy, which would require elderly passengers to prove they are fit to travel. The world’s leading cruise ship group wants to ban people over the age of 70 from setting sail without a doctor’s note amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The new rules would also bar people with a chronic medical condition — who face a heightened risk of contracting the virus known as COVID-19 — from getting on a cruise ship, according to the outlet.
“We’ll be reviewing [the proposal] in the next 24 hours,” Vice President Michael Pence said at a press conference Tuesday night. “The President’s objective is for us to make cruise lines safer, even as we work with the cruise lines to ensure that — that no one in our particularly vulnerable population is — is going out on a cruise in the near future.”
Marco Polo Cruise Ship Denied Malta Port Call
Marco Polo with 1,000 passengers on board, was reported to be sailing towards Malta. Marco Polo was carrying a sick passenger exhibiting coronavirus symptoms.
Cypriot media reported that the ship had been given the options of anchoring off Cyprus, but that its passenger were not permitted to disembark.
This led its captain to decide to instead continue on the cruise liner’s destination, Malta.
Malta was on the ship’s scheduled route, but, given the circumstances surrounding Covid-19 and the sick passenger on board, it has now not been allowed to enter the island’s territorial waters.
Had the ship enter Malta’s port, passengers would still not have been able to disembark due to the mandatory quarantine rules which are currently in force for all visitors to the country.
Cruise Passengers Denied Entry Oakland California
Two buses transporting passengers from The Grand Princess cruise ship in California bound for Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta were stopped Wednesday and ordered to turn around.
The passengers were told to return to their staterooms on the ship.
Cruise ship passengers who may have been exposed to COVID-19 were headed to three military bases, including Dobbins Air Reserve Base for quarantine.
Thirty-five-hundred passengers and crew members were set to be evaluated upon arrival. The roughly 1,100 crew members were quarantined on board.
Governor: More COVID-19 Seattle Schools Close
SEATTLE — More school districts in the Seattle area announced they would close to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Many of the closures are set to last at least two weeks and will begin beginning Thursday.
The announcements come as Gov. Jay Inslee announced a ban on gatherings and events of more than 250 people in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties in an effort to try to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
Virgin Voyages Launch Delayed COVID-19 Cause
Sir Richard Branson’s new cruise startup Virgin Voyages is postponing its launch due to the coronavirus pandemic. The company told Yahoo Finance it would be postponing its launch until August 7, 2020, after it was originally planned for March.
“At this time, much of our attention is focused, rightly, on the current global health crisis,” Branson wrote in a statement. “We understand that this is affecting us all in different ways and making many people rethink upcoming cruise plans. We have spent time talking to our team, future Sailors and travel partners as we navigate this challenging moment.”
Disney Cruise Line Suspends Operation
Disney Cruise Line announced it will suspend all new departures beginning Saturday, March 14, 2020, through the end of the month aboard the company’s four ships.
The Disney Dream will depart on a three-night cruise from Port Canaveral as scheduled on Friday, March 13, and will return to Port Canaveral on Monday, March 16. The Disney Fantasy and Disney Magic will return to port on Saturday, March 14. The Disney Wonder, which is currently in the midst of a westbound Panama Canal cruise, will continue on its scheduled itinerary, with guests disembarking in San Diego on Friday, March 20.
Disney Cruise Line will offer guests affected by this decision a future cruise credit or a full refund, the details of which will be provided directly to them.
AIDA Cruises Suspends Operations
AIDA Cruises today announced it would hit pause on cruise operations through the end of March.
“The spread of the coronavirus is currently presenting a very difficult situation for countless people and the economy worldwide,” the company said, in a statement.
“As tour operators and employers, we have a great responsibility towards our guests and crew members. That’s why today we have made the decision to temporarily stop AIDA travel season until the beginning of April 2020.”
Norwegian Cruise Line Changes Passenger Age Restriction
Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that effective immediately all guests who are 70 years of age and older must provide a Certificate of Medical Fitness to Travel form prior to embarkation.
This easy-to-complete form must be signed by a licensed medical professional and be dated no more than seven days prior to the date of embarkation or seven days prior to the start of a guest’s travels if the guest is traveling for more than seven days before a voyage, according to a statement.
Those who do not present the form will be denied boarding and will be issued a future cruise certificate for the value of their cruise.
Alaska Cruise Cancellations
In Alaska, cancellations so far affect four ships:
• The Viking Orion was scheduled to arrive in Ketchikan on April 28, with subsequent stops in Sitka, Juneau, Glacier Bay, Skagway, Valdez and Seward.
• The Ruby Princess was scheduled to leave Los Angeles on May 2 and make several stops on the West Coast before arriving in Alaska.
• The Star Princess would have left San Francisco on May 3, arriving in Juneau three days later and stopping in Ketchikan before leaving the state.
• The Grand Princess would have left Vancouver on May 9, arriving in Ketchikan on May 11.
Officials at Princess and Viking confirmed the cancellations. The Viking Orion was scheduled to disembark passengers in Seward and sail a southbound version of its voyage after May 1, but a company official said he was unable to answer whether that will take place.
Alaska-bound cruises aren’t scheduled to begin arriving in the state until the end of April.
Juneau, a major cruise ship port destination, said it had been advised of the Seattle port decision, and emphasized that it would manage its port with guidance from state health officials.
“I want the public to know that we are focusing all of our efforts on the here and now – the risk of COVID-19 today, this week, next week,” said Juneau city manager Rorie Watt in a statement Wednesday. “Cruise ships with passengers are not scheduled to come to Southeast until late April.”
Fred Olsen Braemar Passengers Test Positive COVID-19
The ministry said that the Bahamas Maritime Authority – the administrator of the Bahamian flag registry – is monitoring the health situation on board the vessel at regular intervals.
The individuals who tested positive include four crew members and one passenger, according to Fred. Olsen. They were tested during a previous port call in Willemstad, Curaçao on Tuesday, and the results were sent back to a lab in Holland for further confirmation.
“All of these guests and crew will continue to be looked after in isolation, along with anyone else reporting flu-like symptoms. We are continuing to follow outbreak protocols from UK Public Health to ensure everyone on board stays safe and well,” Fred. Olsen said in a statement.
RCCL Vision of The Seas Denied Port Call
News 2 Alert Desk Anchor Josh Breslow said, “Just after 8 o’clock the captain got on the loudspeaker and said St. Maarten had denied us entry to the island due to concerns over COVID-19,” Breslow said.
Breslow said they boarded the ship in San Juan on Saturday and left that night, with staff working to ensure passengers keep their hands clean.
They’ve docked in Barbados, Grenada, and Dominica over the past few days, but were not allowed to dock in Saint Maarten or Saint Kitts and Nevis Thursday.
Airports’ Mad Dash Long Lines As Passengers Scramble U.S. To Europe
Massive lines ballooned across several U.S. airports this weekend as European travelers made a mad dash for home — a situation created by the quick rollout of the Trump administration’s European travel ban and exacerbated by chronic airport staffing shortages.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said on Sunday evening that the problems had been addressed, and that wait times were down to an average of 30 minutes for passengers to get through Customs at the 13 airports where flights from Europe are being funneled. About 40,000 travelers arriving from Europe were screened Saturday.
Miami Passengers Leave COVID-19 Cruise Without Testing
Despite a positive COVID-19 test from a passenger who had disembarked days earlier, thousands of people were allowed to leave a cruise ship in Miami Sunday without undergoing medical screening.
The former passenger got off the MSC Meraviglia in Miami on March 8 after an eight-day Caribbean cruise, leaving 103 passengers and the ship’s crew aboard for the next voyage. Four days later, after the ship had sailed with thousands of additional new passengers aboard, the Public Health Agency of Canada informed Broward-based MSC Cruises that the former passenger had tested positive.
Once it received the result, the company said it isolated seven crew members who had been in close contact with the passenger in individual cabins. But instead of holding the ship off the Florida coast and testing people on board for the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, MSC said U.S. health authorities cleared it to dock Sunday and disembark passengers as normal.
Canada USA Border Closed Non-Essential Travel
President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have agreed to close the US-Canada border to all non-essential travel in an attempt to curb the spread of coronavirus.
“We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our northern border with Canada,” Mr Trump tweeted.
He said trade would not be affected.
Both countries had already issued sweeping travel bans but had maintained exemptions for each other.
Canada relies on the US for approximately 75% of its exports.
Video: Confirmed Cases Of COVID-19 In The U.S. Reaches 6000 | MSNBC