Are you ready to cruise again post Covid-19 pandemic? We’re sharing our views on what factors to consider before decide when is the right time to get back onboard a cruise ship.
While there’s still no 100% firm dates on when cruising will return, there’s a 100% chance that things are going to be different. How different is still unknown, but in this post, I’ll share my potential “deal breakers” and what I can live with before I get back to what I love.
Required Face Masks
Many state and local governments are still requiring people to wear face masks or coverings when out in public. I understand this and abide by it when out purchasing groceries and other essential needs for the household. While no cruise lines have published firm guidelines on what new regulations might be in place when they resume service, having to wear face masks every time you leave your stateroom would make for an uncomfortable experience. For me this is a simple choice, aside from limited use during the boarding and check-in process, I have no intention of cruising if I have to wear a face mask onboard.
It obvious that more stringent pre-screening methods will be in place both before arrival and again at the port terminal. In the early stages, this will likely consist of temperature checks and health questionnaires and maybe at some point also include rapid testing or proof of immunity and/or vaccination. I’m all in for these types of safeguards to restrict possible carriers from showing up at the cruise terminal or boarding the ship.
Denied Boarding Compensation
Like I’ve stated before, I think continuing with more open cancelation policies is a way to limit potentional sick guests from feeling they have to go on their cruise. While it would be best if these individuals never arrive at the port terminal, if they do arrive and fail to pass any of the pre-screening requirements, their entire traveling party should be able to receive a refund. In certain circumstances, people may have left home feeling fine, and while in transit to their cruise started to have signs of illness. In the future, travel insurance policies may or may not cover for covid-19 related claims, so it may fall on the cruise lines to waive last minute cancelation penalties to help mitigate the spread of illnesses. I always purchase travel insurance, but I’d like to know that if I show up at the terminal with a slight temperature and I’m denied boarding, I have a guaranteed option of getting my money back.
Effect of Reduced Capacity
When cruising resumes, it’s likely that not all ships will be brought back into service and those that do could sail at reduced capacity. By reducing the number of guests onboard, guest accommodations could be assigned to allow a buffer between occupied staterooms. The reduction would also allow crew to provide better and more thorough cleaning of rooms and public spaces. For those that insist on picking an exact room onboard (of which I am one), this could limit choices and it’s even possible that some already booked could see their rooms get reassigned before departure. To me the prospect of sailing on a cruise ship with less people is very appealing, although I’m sure there will be certain trade-offs.
Limited Port Options
Even when cruising gets the green light, it doesn’t mean every port will be open to cruise ships. Guests will need to expect that minor port changes or entire itineraries could be altered at a moment’s notice. Now would not be the time to select the trip of a lifetime with “bucket list” ports of call. Until there’s a worldwide resumption of cruising with a record of no onboard outbreaks or proven real life scenarios where mitigation, quarantining and care has been successful, the likelihood of ports refusing cruise ships remains high. It might even be reality that you end up on cruise ships visiting no ports at all. Personally, I would be fine staying onboard for my entire cruise, but I’ve altered my plans for my next scheduled cruises over the next 18 months to be more about the ships and less about the destinations.
The reality is that cruising will likely never be the same as it was before and everyone will need to make their own choice of what is important to them. Stay healthy, happy and #KeepOnCruising
Also Read: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Cruise Line Updates