Hands up if you’re just itching to book a cruise! Me too! I was hoping to book a 50th birthday cruise for myself this October but it looks like my 51st or 52nd will be the “big one” due to Covid-19. In the meantime, I will keep saving, planning, and dreaming of the day when I will again set foot on a ship and enjoy all of what it offers. But, first things first….safety.
Cruise lines are losing millions of dollars while they delay cruises, delay new ship builds, and scrap older ships to save on unnecessary costs. They are making big strides for the health and safety of all it’s crew, passengers, and people in the countries they visit. As announced by CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association), rigorous screening protocols, enhanced sanitation measures and the availability of onboard medical care and treatment 24/7 are being reviewed based on prevailing guidance from global health authorities, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). When ships start to sail, they will then again be contributing to the global economy.
What are cruise lines going to do to be safer and healthier? They are looking into potentially enhancing their air filtration on ships by using HEPA filtered fresh air systems instead of recycled air. They will also add more to their medical facilities and have better screening processes such as taking temperatures, filling out questionnaires, and possibly asking for medical approval (a doctors note from home) before boarding. And, although they are already very clean, they will take extra precautions to sanitize. Of course, this adds to the operating costs for the cruise lines but well worth it.
A word to the wise, check the cruise lines guidelines before traveling. Booking through a travel agent is a good idea as they can advise you. You may have to get tested for Covid-19 and provide a doctors note before travelling. This could be a cruise line requirement or the requirement of the islands and countries the ships will visit. Also, bring your hand sanitizer, face masks, lysol wipes, and buy travel insurance if your credit card company or work doesn’t already provide a solid plan for health, life, and trip cancellation. Better to be safe than sorry.
In the meantime, dare to dream!