Traveling is something that people can’t wait to do again. To cruise ships operating out of European ports in September have already made drastic alternatives to make cruising safe.
New On-Board Safety Measures
For example, new high-grade medical HEPA medical filters are everywhere in place now. And at a minimum, passengers can expect regular temperature checks to make sure they are not sick.
Masks may be required, and most passengers are required to take an antigen test before boarding. And if the antigen test comes up positive, a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test will be administered.
In addition, cruise lines will have to scale back expectations, particularly for younger adults. For years cruise lines have been advertising cruises as a sort of Las Vegas party trip on the sea. Dance parties, pool parties, and lots of alcohol have fueled these cruise lines for younger people who are not satisfied with just seeing pretty scenery from the deck. Those kinds of parties will have to wait until the pandemic is under control, since social distancing becomes impossible under those circumstances.
Cruise passengers in October and November are likely to find many areas blocked off in dining areas to limit occupancy and encourage social distancing.
On-Call Medical Staff and Itinerary Changes
Also, cruise lines are beefing up their medical crews aboard ships, giving them extensive re-training as to how to deal with sick people aboard the ship. Isolation wards are being prepared on the larger ships to deal with minor pandemic outbreaks.
Although many cruise lines plan to be open in October and November, cruise passengers should expect fewer short term docks to foreign locations.
Destinations such as Curacao, Antigua, the Bahamas, Mexico, Jamaica, Barbados, and the like are all struggling with their own COVID-19 regulations, which can change from day to day. As a consequence, those on cruise lines may be a little disappointed when their favorite port destination is canceled due to requiring a 10-day COVID-19 test before coming ashore.
As a consequence, those on cruise lines may be a little disappointed when some of their favorite port destinations are unavailable.
Still, ask your Crystal Cruises travel agent if people are ready to get on board cruises again — the time when we get this pandemic under control is coming, and the travel industry is getting ready for it. In the meantime, they’re offering rebates and discounts on advance orders, so now is a good time to check them out, do some research, and get a ticket.
If you are a U.S. customer wanting to go on a cruise, it might be wise to check back after September 30th to the CDC Guidelines on Cruise Ships to find out whether the quarantine has been extended beyond September.
Meanwhile, European cruise passengers might very well check out The European Guidance for Cruise Ships that describe the efforts to get cruising back to normal.
People may be cautious in late 2020 and beyond, but from all indications, going on a cruise may be every bit as safe as traveling on an airplane as long as certain precautions are made.
This too shall pass, the American and Cruise lines are hoping.