Saturday, August 6, 2022

GET ME REWRITE: Xi Jinping floats his boat

New York Times, 8/4/2022
Besides demonstrating Beijing’s displeasure with Ms. Pelosi’s visit, the drills — which China has said would be held in six zones encircling Taiwan — appear to have been designed as a trial run for sealing off the island as part of a potential invasion. China’s leaders, including the current president, Xi Jinping, have long said that Taiwan must eventually be brought under Beijing’s control, by force if necessary.

Give Dean Friedman credit for igniting the success of Ariel as a baby name for girls

While driving around to take care of a few errands, I listened to a Siruis/XM 70s on 7 rebroadcast of Casey Kasem's American Top 40 for the week ending August 6, 1978.   

46 years ago, I lived Springfield, Massachusettts and rarely listened to AM radio.  It was impossible, however, to avoid this one-hit wonder by Dean Friedman.  It spent 22 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 but only peaked at #26.

Guess when Ariel first appeared on the Social Security Administration list of top 1000 baby names for girls?

Ariel timeline:

1977:  "Ariel" debuts on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending April 16.

1978:  Ariel makes its first appearance on the SSA Baby Names Chart.

1984:  The movie "Footloose" opened on February 17.  One of its characters is a rebellious PK named Ariel Moore.

1989:  Disney's "The Little Mermaid", a.k.a. Ariel, is released in theaters on November 13.

1990:  Ariel reaches its peak on the SSA baby names chart.

GET ME REWRITE: White folks come out in droves to watch Trump blather


YouTube screenshot

Capital Times, 8/5/2022

Don't hold your breath, folks.
Although Trump and Steen earned some applause for their criticism of Vos, not everyone in attendance was thrilled with the focus on 2020. 
Eisner, the Randolph woman, said although she backs Trump, she would like to see Republicans turn their attention to 2024. 
“I wish he’d pump the brakes a little bit. We’d like to see him pump the brakes,” Raether, the Muskego woman, said referring to Trump’s criticism of Vos. 
“Let’s focus on moving forward, not looking back. What is, is — now let’s move forward and win this thing.”

Day 138 of being safer on a cruise ship than at a shopping center

Day 138
Top headline:  Current Affair
PhotoCruise Mapper
Bottom:  KTOO
COVID-positive travelers say they were not allowed to board their cruise ship in Skagway this week. Instead, they say that Holland America helped them book travel on a state ferry and then an Alaska Airlines flight out of Juneau — the day after their positive tests. 
Diana and Larry Lehrer were supposed to set sail from Skagway on Holland America’s Koningsdam after a bus tour through the Interior and Canada. But they tested positive for COVID-19 when they reached Skagway on Tuesday. 
“The first test went fine and the second one didn’t,” said Diana Lehrer. The next day the couple was on the state ferry, sitting masked near the front windows. 
The MV LeConte was packed with passengers from Skagway and Haines headed to Juneau.

Day 133
Top headline:  Current Affair
Bottom headline and photo:  Cruise Law News
The unexpected and abrupt ending of the color tracking system by the CDC comes at a time when the COVID BA.5 variant is continuing to surge. The CDC’s imprudent decision leaves the public reliant on cruise lines to voluntarily publish COVID-19 results. But the cruise industry has consistently demonstrated a lack of transparency when it comes to releasing disease statistics or other unpleasant news.  [emphasis added]
The result, predictably enough, is cruise lines have largely been able to keep outbreaks of COVID-19 which occur on their ships secret. This has become clear when the Carnival owned Holland America Line’s Zaandam recently had over 20% of its guests test positive for COVID-19.
Day 128
Top headline:  Current Affair
Bottom headline and photo:  Travel Pulse
Once the opportunity arose to fly cross country and board a limited capacity Norwegian Bliss itinerary, no one had to twist my arm. My husband and I were vaxxed, tested at the port the day of launch and masked up. The strict protocols worked and we returned healthily. Over the next nine months, we boarded more cruises and participated in several destination press junkets with nary a sniffle. 
Unfortunately, our luck ran out on an Alaskan itinerary out of Seattle, several weeks ago, once again on the Bliss. Unlike our previous experience, this time the ship was almost full. The protocols were still in place in terms of being vaccinated and tested, but the overall feeling of unease persisted as we were uncomfortable with the crowds.

Day 125
Top headline:  Current Affair
Photo:  Princess
Bottom headline:  Yahoo News
Last week, the ship reported 120 cases of COVID-19. Now, its 2,000-plus passengers are stranded at sea. 
Strong winds and 20-foot waves are preventing the vessel from safely docking, according to news reports from The Daily Mail and Sky News Australia. The ship was supposed to dock in Brisbane at 7am local time Friday, the last day of its weeklong voyage, with stops along the Queensland and New South Wales coasts, but bad weather has made that impossible. 
It's unclear when the ship will be able to dock.
Day 120
You're on your own, folks!
Top headline:  Current Affair
Photo:  Wikipedia
Bottom headline:  Washington Post
“CDC has determined that the cruise industry has access to the necessary tools (e.g., cruise-specific recommendations and guidance, vaccinations, testing instruments, treatment modalities, and non-pharmaceutical interventions) to prevent and mitigate COVID-19 on board,” CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said in an email. 
[Cruises are smashing records despite covid on board: ‘Life goes on’] 
A statement posted in an FAQ section of the CDC’s cruise travel page says the agency ended the program because it “depended upon each cruise line having the same COVID-19 screening testing standards, which may now vary among cruise lines.” The site says cruise lines will continue to report coronavirus cases to the agency.
Day 118
Top headline:  Current Affair
Photo:  Wikipedia
Bottom headline:  9News
Following cases last week on the Coral Princess, the Pacific Explorer is dealing with an outbreak among its 2800 passengers and crew. 
The newly infected ship is due to dock in Sydney tomorrow and owner Carnival Cruises says it will pay for those who don't live close to Sydney to stay in a hotel to complete their week-long isolation.
Day 116
Top headline:  Current Affair
Photo:  Princess
Bottom headline:  Insurance Business Australia
Not since the ghost ships of maritime legend has a single floating vessel caused more collective dread. To the horror of many Sydneysiders, the cruise ship Coral Princess docked in Circular Quay this week with more than 100 COVID-19 positive cases on board. 
According to news reports, most of the infected were crew members, with 114 in isolation on the ship. However, four passengers were also isolating after positive COVID results.
Day 113
Top headline:  Current Affair
Photo:  Princess
Bottom headline:  Forbes
Today’s cruise ship outbreak is on the Coral Princess, where over 100 people are currently sick, with many isolating on board the vessel in Brisbane, according to 7NEWSBrisbane. Others are being being evacuated to isolate at home or in other accommodation and currently, 1 in 20 people who were aboard the ship are known to have Covid-19. A 
Princess Cruises spokesperson told ABC News Australia “We are adhering to comprehensive protocols that were agreed in conjunction with federal and state authorities

Day 103
Top headline:  Current Affair
Bottom headline and photo:  Cruise Law News
The highly contagious BA.4 and BA.5 variants are wreaking havoc in the U.S. and Europe as virtually all cruise ships at sea are inundated with COVID. The CDC’s Cruise Ship COVID-19 Status Dashboard, for what its worth, shows that of the 94 cruise ships sailing in U.S. waters, 92 ships are designated as orange and 2 ships are yellow. There are absolutely no cruise ships designated as green with no COVID-19 aboard.  [emphasis added]
Day 99
Sometimes it's not just Covid ya gotta worry about
Top headline:  Current Affair
Bottom headline and photo:  PIX11
Shortly before the Carnival Magic was due to arrive in the New York-New Jersey area, a large fight broke out in a nightclub on the ship around 5:20 a.m., according to the NYPD. The fight began as a scuffle between two people on the dance floor, then grew in size as others joined in, the department said.
5:20 a.m.?  🍾🍷🍸🍹🍺

Day 91
Top headline:  Current Affair
Bottom headline and photo:   The Telegraph
A couple from Sheffield spent nearly 5000 pounds on a cruise holiday -- but then they caught Covid on board, they felt like lepers.
6/17/2022 update starts here

A look backward with today's post

Top headline:  Current Affair
Bottom headline:   Bloomberg
It was March 27, 2020, the dawn of the pandemic, and the Zaandam had been at sea off South America for almost three weeks as country after country slammed shut its ports. Covid-19 was tearing through the Zaandam, and Covrig was one of a dozen crew members from the MS Rotterdam, a sister ship in the Holland America Line fleet, who’d come aboard to help. As the volunteers boarded the Zaandam, hundreds of passengers not showing signs of illness were being transferred to the Rotterdam. Both ships now sat at the entrance to the Panama Canal, while Holland America tried to persuade the Panamanian authorities to let them pass through on the way to Florida.

6/16/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  Current Affair
Bottom headline and photo:  The Points Guy
The two biggest players in Alaska cruises, Holland America and Princess Cruises, in recent days have brought back a masks-required rule for some sailings in the region, citing a recent spike in COVID-19 cases across the state. 
Both the lines say the new mandates only apply to passengers on one-way Alaska sailings between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Whittier, Alaska. Masks are suggested but not required on round-trip voyages to Alaska out of Seattle. For more cruise news, guides and tips, sign up for TPG’s cruise newsletter. 
Alaska has been recording about 400 new cases of COVID-19 per day in recent days — about twice the number that were being recorded in March. But the daily case counts for COVID-19 in Alaska could be significantly higher as many people who test positive for COVID-19 using home tests no longer are being recorded in official health records. [emphasis added]

6/15/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  Current Affair
Bottom headline and photo:  Royal Caribbean blog
I was probably different from most that run into this situation, because I knew a lot about what cruise lines were doing with people that tested positive for Covid. I was looking to see how much truth there was to any of the subjective comments people had made in their experiences. 
Yes, the room service menu gets tiresome and if I had to eat it for 3, 4 or more days, I probably would have really hated it. But I never got food that was cold. Luke warm, perhaps. But no different than how some food comes very hot or not so hot when in a dining room. 
I freely admit I was lucky to only have to quarantine for 1 day onboard. The television programming is limited, and there were no pay-per-view movies on Serenade of the Seas. Moreover, their slow internet made streaming anything pretty much impossible (although YouTube worked fairly well, since it could buffer better than other services I tried).

6/12/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  Current Affair
Bottom headline and photo:  Cruise Law News
Yesterday, I received word from the Jewel of the Seas, upon its return from its latest cruise back to its curremt home port of Amsterdam, that forty-six (46) guests of the 1,750 passengers tested positive for COVID-19. The Royal Caribbean cruise ship still had sixteen (16) senior oficer who were in quarantine (which we discussed in our post titled Senior Officers on Jewel of the Seas Test Positive for COVID-19), who were expected to be released from isolation. 
Previously, the ship’s officers expressed their concern that there was an increasing trend of positive COVID-19 cases on the ship, and reminding the crew that they were required to wear mask on the ship. 
As with other posts regarding this cruise ship, a Royal Caribbean crew member who wishes to remain anonymous provided this information to the firm.

6/9/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  Current Affair
Bottom headline:  KTOO 
Palwala wanted to share the experience with his extended family of 12. He booked another Alaska cruise on the same ship with almost the same itinerary. They sailed in May. This time, the ship was closer to full, with about 4,000 passengers. It wasn’t like before.\ 
“Very understaffed,” he said. “We did not have shows on — we only had like, two shows on the whole of the cruise. Lack of entertainment, lack of entertainment for kids.” 
There were long lines to disembark, facilities on board that were shuttered — even eating became disappointing. His whole family is vegetarian, and he was told the kitchen was too short staffed to cook up proper meals for them. 
Day after day, “the SAME thing. I mean, yeah, not even a few things, the same things. So whatever we ate in lunch, we ate in dinner,” he said. 
His family ate a lot of lentil soup with rice. 
Immediately after the cruise, 10 out of 12 people in his party tested positive for COVID. They were far from alone.

6/8/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  Current Affair
Bottom headline and photo:  Senior Life Newspaper
Like Nancy Moore, most passengers seemed to be more focused on having a good time than worrying about catching COVID. Of the approximately 5,000 passengers onboard for the cruise, very few wore masks. 
Carnival no longer gathers crowds together for a muster drill. Instead, everyone goes to their respective muster location at their convenience and meets with a crew member to receive instructions on emergency procedures. It is a much-welcomed adjustment that saves a lot of time. 
Carnival has also eliminated a lot of physical contact by use of its smart-phone app. All menus are viewed on the application by scanning a QR code in the restaurant. You can view your account statement, reserve seats at shows or restaurants and even view your onboard portraits right in the app. Gone are the days of sorting through a bin of pre-printed photo packages.
5/31/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  Current Affair
Bottom headline and photo:  Travel Pulse
Sadly, COVID-19 hasn’t fully released its grip on the cruise industry yet, even as entire fleets continue to return to operations. The mask mandate has returned, at least on one ship. 
Holland America Line’s Rotterdam VII departed Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on May 29 on its christening cruise. The naming ceremony is scheduled for the following day in its namesake city, Rotterdam, from where the company’s first-ever voyage departed in October 150 years ago. 
But upon boarding the ship in Amsterdam, passengers were handed a letter advising that masks are once again required at all times indoors – except when eating or drinking – and in large groups outdoors or when physical distance can’t be maintained. Masks also are highly recommended on shore tours, particularly when indoors, on public transportation and in crowded areas.  [emphasis added]

5/27/2022 update starts here

It's not just Covid that cruise ship passengers need be concerned about.

Top headline:  Current Affair
Bottom headline:  Bloomberg
Cruising, one of the hardest-hit sectors of the travel economy during the pandemic, is set to face tough times again this summer. It’s not just because of continued waves of Covid-19—though as of May 23, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was monitoring outbreaks on 84 of 93 cruise ships in US waters, all with the majority of passengers and crew vaccinated. Instead, difficulty reassembling staff plus inflation and war have knocked the industry off balance. 
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has upended many European voyages.  St. Petersburg, traditionally the marquee destination on Baltic Sea itineraries, was largely dropped from routes by March.

5/26/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  Current Affair
Bottom headline and photo:  TDPel Media

5/25/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  Current Affair
Bottom headline and photo:  Cruise Law News 
The Jewel of the Seas sailed from Amsterdam on May 20th with 1,752 guests onboard the Royal Caribbean cruise ship. There were twelve (12) crew members and three (3) guests who initially tested positive for COVID-13. After two days of the cruise, the number of guests who tested positive for the virus increased to seven (7). 
This information comes from a trusted source on the ship who wishes to remain anonymous. The crew member has provided accurate information in the past about the number of infected guests and crew members on this particular ship over the course of the last year. Like other cruise lines, Royal Caribbean does not voluntarily disclose information regarding the number of either infected guests or crew members, although this information is invaluable to a consumer evaluating the risk of becoming infected during a cruise. [emphasis added]

5/22/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  Current Affair
Bottom headline and photo:  Cruise Fever 

 Be our guest!

All of Royal Caribbean’s health protocols will remain unchanged and there will no longer be testing requirements in the terminal for cruises from Italy. 
Guests 12 years and older must present proof of full COVID-19 vaccination with the final dose administered at least 14 days before their Royal Caribbean cruise. 
Guests who are fully vaccinated must show a negative result for a PCR or antigen test taken no more than 2 days before boarding day. 
Guests who are considered unvaccinated must show a negative result for a PCR or antigen test taken no more than 1 day before boarding day.

5/21/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  Current Affair
Bottom headline:  Travel Weekly
The chair of Clia UK & Ireland has said the cruise sector is recovering from the pandemic as a ‘more robust and resilient’ industry – and its response to the crisis will be a case study for years to come. 
Ben Bouldin – who is also Royal Caribbean International’s EMEA vice-president – made his comments on MSC Virtuosa during the opening day of the trade association’s conference in Southampton.  [emphasis added] 
“We’re a more robust, more resilient industry and we’re perhaps stronger together than we have ever been in the past,” he told delegates. 
Bouldin said the industry had proved to itself and “many governments” that it was able to adjust and pivot when needed.

5/20/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  Current Affair
Bottom headline:  Financial Review
True North, a small Australian-flagged “adventure yacht” for 36 passengers – priced at up to $35,000 a head – is understood to be the latest operator to have positive COVID-19 cases, during a cruise off Western Australia’s Kimberley region. 
The ship also has around 20 crew. While a blow to affected holidaymakers, True North has a helicopter on board and was able to fly affected passengers to Broome where they have been able to isolate in pre-booked chalets[emphasis added]

5/18/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  Current Affair
PhotoTrue North
Bottom headline:  KTOO
But Kane says she’s concerned that cruise passengers could bring a surge in COVID-19 cases to small communities like Haines. 
“It’s definitely nerve-racking,” she said. “Because, yeah, people I mean, just travelers in general, pose a higher risk. Having more people here, having the town size, or population double in one day or whatever, depending on how full the ships are, is a lot. I do feel like we’re gonna see a spike in numbers.” 
A Royal Caribbean spokesperson said in an email that the cruise line requires passengers ages 12 and older to be vaccinated, and show a negative PCR test before sailing. Children younger than 12 are required to test twice. And all crew are required to be vaccinated. 
But that doesn’t mean the ships are COVID-free.

5/14/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  Current Affair
Bottom headline and photo:  Cruise Law News
As of yesterday, there have been a minimum of around 120 guests who tested positive for COVID-19 aboard the Norwegian Dawn, according to a trusted, long-term reader of Cruise Law News on the ship who wishes to remain anonymous. 
The NCL cruise ship left New York (Cape Liberty Bayonne NJ) on April 28th for travel to ports in Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada), Reykjavik (Iceland), Belfast (Northern Ireland), Dublin (Ireland), IJmuiden (Netherlands), Bruges (Belgium), and Le Havre (France) with the end of the cruise in Southampton (England}. 
The NCL ship was denied access to Brugge, Belgium, following which the ship spent the day at sea enroute to LeHavre.

5/12/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  Current Affair
Bottom headline:  KTOO
One passenger on a recent Carnival cruise bound for Seattle claimed there were about 200 people sick with COVID-19 on board, and that the crew were overwhelmed. Carnival downplayed the situation with Seattle press, but wouldn’t disclose the case count. 
That ship, the Carnival Spirit, is now cruising between Seattle and Southeast Alaska for the summer. If its crew are following protocol, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services should all have good data about the COVID situation on board on any given day. But very little of that information is available to the public for the Spirit, or any of the ships operating in Alaska this summer.

5/11/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  Current Affair
Bottom headline:  Washington Post
So Klauschie, a retired mental health counselor from Albuquerque who is vaccinated and double-boosted, took precautions: She wore a KN95 mask to fly to and from New Orleans, where her back-to-back week-long cruises on the Carnival Glory started. She skipped the buffet when lines were long, kept a distance from other passengers whenever possible, wore a mask during shows and spent a lot of time taking the stairs. 
“I took the elevator, in two weeks, all of three times,” she said. “Luckily I’ve been doing aerobics … so it didn’t kill me.”
What fun!

5/10/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  Current Affair
Photo:  Carnival
Bottom headline:  NBC5 Dallas Fort Worth
New FMC rules that took effect in April of 2022 define “non-performance” as a cruise canceling or delaying a voyage by three or more calendar days. 
If that happens, passengers would be entitled to a refund of all money down, including ancillary fees. 
Cruise lines must also publish clear instructions for obtaining refunds online. 
“We decided that in order for the cruise industry, which is very important to our nation and to our ports, to get going again, that we needed to have consumers feel comfortable so that they could get back on a ship,” Sola explained. 
The rule is not retroactive. It doesn’t apply to refunds requested last year or the year before.

5/9/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  Current Affair
Photo:  Carnival
Bottom headline:  WFMY
“My tests show that I was positive, and I couldn't believe it. You know, I said well, let me make sure. So, I waited another 30 minutes, and I had a second COVID test,” Miles said. “They told me to remain in the room, you know, I would need to be on the isolation, they will be coming to the room to test me to be sure. They gave me another test…and it didn't even take maybe two minutes, she said that you're definitely positive.” 
She said she was in isolation on the ship for five days, but for others, it was longer. 
Some passengers said they waited hours for food, weren’t properly isolated, and couldn’t get a hold of medical staff. 
“We couldn't call anybody…you call, and it would ring, ring, ring, and ring all day long,” Miles said.

5/8/2022 update starts here

No mention of Covid in the headline and subhead, of course.

Top headline:  Current Affair
Photo:  Carnival
Bottom headline: Investopedia

While Carnival and other operators hope to entice customers back on board following highly publicized COVID-19 incidents early in the pandemic, they still face reluctance. On May 5, Bloomberg reported on an alleged COVID-19 outbreak aboard Carnival's ship the Carnival Spirit, also indicating that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was investigating 53 ships across the cruise industry for reported cases. A sharp increase in on-board prices may further deter customers who are already hesitant to get back to the cruise experienc

5/6/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  Current Affair
Photo:  Carnival
Bottom headline:  CBS News, 5/5/2022
Carnival won't say how many of the approximately 2,100 passengers aboard were infected. The outbreak occurred during the ship's voyage between Miami, where it departed last month, and Seattle, where it arrived on Tuesday. Upon docking, all infected passengers were moved to area hotels for isolation. 
Darren Siefertson, who has been on seven cruise ships since August, was among those who tested positive — and he is not happy with how things were handled. 
"I literally stayed in this room for six days, with no telephone service, they wouldn't answer the phone," Siefertson told CBS News.

5/5/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  Current Affair
Photo:  Carnival
Bottom headline:  Seattle Times, 5/4/2022
Just days into what was supposed to be the Seattle cruise industry’s comeback from COVID-19, a cruise ship steamed into Elliott Bay carrying dozens of passengers with the illness. Tuesday’s arrival of the stricken Carnival Spirit was an inauspicious inaugural for an industry that pumped nearly $1 billion into the state economy before COVID and whose return is seen as key to the revival of downtown Seattle.

5/4/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  Current Affair
Bottom headlines:  King5, KIRO

King5 excerpt:
Passengers on a Carnival Cruise Ship that docked Tuesday in Seattle say more than 100 people aboard the ship tested positive for COVID-19 and the ship was overwhelmed. 
Multiple people say right now they're in hotels across the Seattle area to quarantine after testing positive or being exposed to someone with COVID-19. Carnival Cruise Line would not confirm how many people tested positive on the ship, but said there were a number of positive cases. 
"As soon as I got diagnosed with COVID, I did not feel safe," said Darren Sieferston, a passenger on the cruise from Miami to Seattle.


5/4/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  Current Affair
Photo: Coral Expeditions via Ship Technology
Bottom headlines: The Guardian
The 93-metre Coral Geographer anchored in Darwin Harbour early on Tuesday with 74 guests and 38 crew on board after a trip through the Kimberley region. 
Northern Territory Health confirmed 17 guests and crew had contracted the virus, since the ship embarked from Broome 10 days earlier. 
Cruise operator Coral Expeditions said the infected passengers isolated onboard during the voyage as required under NT and Western Australian law.

4/30/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  Current Affair
Bottom headline: ABC7
The Majestic Princess was on a seven-day cruise along the California coast and is expected back in Long Beach Saturday. 
A woman onboard told Eyewitness News her friend tested positive for COVID-19 and that no one has come to clean their room since her friend was moved to isolation. 
Just last week, another Princess Cruise ship returned to Long Beach after some of its passengers tested positive for the virus.

4/29/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  Current Affair
Bottom headlines and pic:  Cruise Law News
After attending dozens of Seatrade conventions over the past twenty-five years, I’m used to the cruise industry’s perennial talking points which often have little to do with reality. Usually, Seatrade is a time when the cruise executives try and manage the cruise industry’s sinking image and tatered reputation following the previous year’s invariable cruise ship disasters which filled the headlines. Cruise leaders tend to project rosy forecasts when they are dealing with the Costa Concordia sinking, the Carnival poop cruise or similar cruise disasters and mishaps. [emphasis added]
This year was no different.

4/28/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  Current Affair
Bottom headlines: Washington PostDaily Breeze

The good news, according to WaPo, is that vaccines work!
Less than two weeks earlier, on a 15-day Hawaiian cruise that returned April 11, SFDPH reported the ship had 143 coronavirus cases. The vaccination rate was 100 percent for both crew and passengers, and one person on that trip was hospitalized.

4/27/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  Current Affair
Bottom headlines:  KOMO, Hawaii News

Hawaii News excerpt:
To bring travelers back, the cruise industry is promoting new health services and cheap fares. 
But one Oahu couple says the experience wasn’t as safe or supportive as was advertised. 
The Kaneohe residents say they’ve been stranded in Barcelona since Saturday, after contracting COVID-19 while on a cruise in Europe. Travelers returning to the US must test negative for COVID. 
It was a much-needed vacation for Craig Visitacion and his wife ― a 10-day Mediterranean cruise on the Norwegian Star ― after two years of working on the frontlines of the pandemic. 
The hospital medical technician said he trusted Norwegian Cruise Line to have safety protocols in place, but had concerns when he saw passengers clustered together without masks or distancing.

4/26/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  Current Affair
Bottom headlines:  SFiST, CBS News

CBS News excerpt:

The Ruby Princess arrived in San Francisco on April 11 after a trip to Hawaii in which 143 passengers on board testing positive with the virus, the city's health department told CBS MoneyWatch. More than 70 people were found to have COVID-19 in March while on the same ship after it returned from a 15-day cruise to the Panama Canal. In January, 12 passengers arriving in San Francisco following a 10-day Mexico cruise on the Ruby Princess were found to have COVID-19 after being randomly tested for the virus.

 4/25/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  Current Affair
Bottom headline:  7 News
A dozen people have contracted COVID-19 on one of the first cruise ships allowed back into Western Australia since the pandemic began. Ten passengers and two crew have tested positive aboard the Coral Discoverer, which arrived in Broome early on Monday. 
The vessel, carrying 61 passengers and 30 crew, had completed a 10-day voyage from Darwin.

4/24/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  NewsStar (written by travel agent)
Bottom headline:  San Jose Mercury News
Scores of passengers aboard the Ruby Princess cruise ship became sick with COVID-19 on a San Francisco to Hawaii voyage that ended last week and followed a trip to Panama in which dozens of passengers also were stricken with the virus on the same ship.

4/22/2022 update, "Welcome to Year 3 of the Covid, starts here.

Top headline:  NewsStar (written by travel agent)
Photo:  Ship Technology
Bottom headlines:  CBC, CTV 

4/19/2022 update, Dozens Dick on a Cruise Ship" starts here.

Top headline:  NewsStar (written by travel agent)
Bottom headline:  KPIX

4/19/2022 update, "Nightmare", starts here.

Top headline:  NewsStar, 4/2/2022 (written by travel agent)
Graphic and bottom headline:  KCAL-TV via YouTube
A two-week trip to a Hawaiian paradise turned into a nightmare for some passengers on board a Grand Princess cruise ship after they got COVID-19.

4/17/2022 update, "Sick Ship", starts here

Top headline:  NewsStar, 4/2/2022 (written by travel agent)
Graphic and bottom headline:  WLPG via YouTube
Vaccinated and double boosted couple get COVID-19 on cruise and go from room with a balcony to a substandard quarantine isolation. 

4/13/2022 update, "Strict Rules and Vaccine Mandates", starts here.

Top headline:  NewsStar, 4/2/2022 (written by travel agent)
Photo credit:  Wikipedia
Bottom headline:  The Daily Mail

4/8/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  NewsStar, 4/2/2022 (written by travel agent)
Photo credit:  Wikipedia
Bottom headline:  KATU, 4/8/2022
Several crew members on a Princess Line cruise ship docked at the Vigor Shipyard in North Portland for maintenance have tested positive for COVID-19. 
There are no passengers on board. 
Cruise line managers are isolating those with positive infections. 
Princess says 100% of the crew are vaccinated, with all those qualifying for boosters being boosted.

4/5/2022 update, "9 ships", starts here.

It gets worse.

Top headline:  NewsStar, 4/2/2022 (written by travel agent)
Photo credit:  Wikipedia
Bottom headlineVancouver Island News, 4/4/2022
The cancellation of the Caribbean Princess prompted the GVHA to announce that the scheduled arrival of the Holland America vessel Koningsdam on Saturday will now mark the official return of the cruise season in Victoria. 
The Koningsdam was also listed under orange status on Monday, with enough COVID-19 cases on board to trigger a CDC investigation.  [emphasis added] 
It's one of five cruise ships still due to arrive this month in Victoria with enough COVID-19 cases on board to prompt monitoring by the CDC. 
Four other ships scheduled to arrive at Ogden Point currently have "yellow status," meaning less than 0.3 per cent of total passengers and/or crew are currently infected with COVID-19.

4/4/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  NewsStar, 4/2/2022) (written by travel agent)
Photo credit:  Wikipedia
Bottom headlineTimes Colonist, 4/4/2022
“There are active cases in cabins throughout the ship as well, and they [aren’t telling] anyone. They say it is a privacy issue and they can’t share with anyone, but medical teams in protective gear are seen going to rooms.”

4/3/2022 update starts here

Top headline:  NewsStar, 4/2/2022n (written by travel agent)
Photo credit:  Wikipedia
Bottom headlineThe Williams Lake Tribune, 4/2/2022
The Caribbean Princess, operated by Princess Cruises, is also currently being investigated and monitored by the U.S. CDC. Under the organization’s COVID-19 Program for Cruise Ships, the vessel is currently listed as having “orange status.” 
Cant said that while he is aware the CDC monitors cruise ships for COVID cases, he said the only information the port authority has been provided on the schedule change is related to maintenance plans for the vessel. 
The status means there are enough reported COVID-19 cases on the ship for the CDC to launch an investigation, and is the second-highest level of COVID concern under the program.  [emphasis added]

3/31/2022 update, "Let's Party!", starts here.

Headline:  NPR, 3/30/2022
In an update posted online, the agency removed its "Cruise Ship Travel Health Notice," a notice that recommended individuals against traveling onboard cruise ships. Three months ago, the CDC increased its travel warnings for cruises to Level 4 — the highest level — following investigations of ships that had COVID outbreaks. 
While the CDC has lifted its travel health notice, officials say it's up to the passengers to determine their own health risks before going onboard a cruise ship.


3/29/2022 update starts here

San Jose Mercury, 3/28/2022

Vaccinated or not, those passengers identified as positive had to spend much of their cruise in isolation.
Princess Cruises said in a statement that “during the cruise we identified some positive COVID-19 cases amongst our guests and crew members” aboard the Ruby Princess ship, though all had been vaccinated. “They were all asymptomatic or only mildly symptomatic and were isolated and quarantined while monitored and cared for by our shipboard medical team,” the cruise line’s statement said.

1/15/2022 update, "No sympathy here.  Only stupid people book a cruise during a stubborn pandemic", starts here.

USA Today, 1/15/2022
"Without the islands and ports to break up the sea days this is turning into a nightmare. I really can’t imagine four more sea days back to back without much to do," Focaraccio told USA TODAY. She noted earlier in the day that the ship had already opted to skip port calls in Grand Turk, St. Thomas and Tortola before it arrived in St. Maarten and before the decision to cancel was made by the cruise line.

1/13/2022 update starts here

Just in time!

Fortune, 12/29/2021

12/26/2021 update starts here

A COVID-19 outbreak took place on a South Florida-based cruise ship for the third time this week, as the number of coronavirus cases in Florida hit its highest level since the start of the pandemic. 
An undisclosed number of passengers and crew aboard the Carnival Freedom cruise caught the virus so the ship was denied entry to Bonaire and Aruba, Carnival said in a statement. 
The ship has 2,497 passengers and 1,112 crew members and was scheduled to return to Miami on Sunday following an 8-day cruise. Passengers were required to be vaccinated and they were tested before leaving last Saturday, according to Carnival.

12/7/2021 update, "Ready for a COVID sandwich?  Then it's time to take a cruise!" starts here

NPR, 12/6/2021
At least 17 people have tested positive for COVID-19 — including one probable case of the omicron variant — on a cruise ship that disembarked in New Orleans over the weekend. 
Norwegian Cruise Lines confirmed 10 cases among its passengers and crew members on Saturday and then seven more on Sunday, according to the Louisiana Department of Health. The cruise line confirmed in a statement that it had identified a "handful" of cases onboard the Norwegian Breakaway and said all of them are asymptomatic. 
Both Norwegian Cruise Lines and the Port of New Orleans said the cruise line requires all guests and crew members to be fully vaccinated, with on-site testing and proof of vaccination needed in order for people to board.

5/31/2021 update, "Retiring Guy helps cruise ship maniac Justin Marks get the picture", starts here.

New York Times, 5/27/2021
“The C.D.C. has been holding us all captive and I really can’t wait any longer, I can’t wait until July,” said Justin Marks, a 59-year-old retired Alabama resident, referring to one target date that has been floated for when ships might start sailing. 
Mr. Marks, who has 12 cruises booked through 2022, is undeterred by the outbreaks onboard cruise ships at the start of the pandemic last year. Gift Subscriptions to The Times, Cooking or Games. Starting at $25. 
“I’m dying to be picked for the test cruise, mostly because I need to start cruising again for my sanity,” he said, “but also because I want to show the world how much safer a cruise ship is than any plane or hotel that has been allowed to operate throughout the whole pandemic.”  [emphasis added]

Original 4/6/2021 post, "Retiring Guy helps Cruise Lines International CEO and president Kelly Craighead get the picture", starts here.

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