Cruiser, did you hear?
Did you hear that cruises have already restarted? Good Morning America had a really good clip on the restart of cruising from the Caribbean, that I highly suggest watching if you're curious. Here's a quick rundown of what to expect for cruising in the immediate future:
1. Vaccines (and Testing)- First--this is all very confusing, and a HUGE reason why you should be using a travel advisor, like myself, to plan your cruise vacations. Some cruise lines are making vaccines mandatory and some are not. Cruise lines have actually been operating since last August in Europe without vaccines, which prove their strict protocols are working.
Similarly--some cruise lines make you test regardless, and other make you test only if you aren't vaccinated. Some even require test with vaccination. It really all depends on the cruise line, as well as where they are traveling to/from.
2. Masks- Doesn't really seem like masks are going to be a big issue onboard either. You can still wear masks, of course, as you need to do what makes you feel comfortable. Many of the lines aren't requiring masks because they require vaccination, but also because the social distancing will be huge. The cruise sailing on the GMA clip--only 30% full! Right now cruises will be sailing at reduced capacities, of no more than 75%, with many capping at 50-60%.
Also, little known fact, the cruise lines have retrofitted their HVAC systems to hospital grade, and made sure that each cabin and public space, has its own air.
3. Illness- While nowhere on the planet is covid-free, I would not expect a covid outbreak onboard either, especially with the high numbers of people being vaccinated. The cruise lines' plans are to make sure they reduce any potential for outbreak and this does means they have a contact tracing plan in place, and they have reserved certain cabins onboard to quarantine cabins.
During the HVAC retrofit, the cruise lines also upgraded their medical facilities onboard, and have increased the number of staff to those facilities.
While not a comprehensive list of all the protocols, I do think it is important to share some of the major bits, in an effort to help with your decision making process. If you have any questions on these, or other information for cruising this summer, please do not hesitate to reach out to me :)
Have a great week,