Let's talk about the protocols!
I don't know if you heard or not, but the Healthy Sail Panel finally submitted their suggestions for safety protocols. This means we are one HUGE step closer to actually sailing again from the Americas! Did you know that Europe is already sailing safely, with many of these protocols already in place? There's 74, so I'm obviously not going to share them all with you, but here's some that I think are notable. Oh and also, these are not set in stone yet, because the CDC is still reviewing them right now. 1. Cruises should be limited in capacity: I've heard the percentage 70% floating around as the capacity the ships will start sailing at. I'm not sure they will even get that full in the beginning, but glad to see they added a capacity limitation. 2. Touchless check in: I've heard part of this may also include following your scheduled check in time to reduce the amount of people in the port terminal at a time. 3. Washy washy!: Ok, they didn't really say it like that, but they did mention the use of hand sanitizer, wipes, or hand washing stations. If you've cruised mmm…ever…you know how amazing the cruise lines already are at this. 4. Increasing medical facilities and personnel: Loved this one! If you have ever visited the medical facilities onboard, you know how lackluster they are. The proposed protocols will make the facilities and the starting opening medical teams more robust. 5. Contact tracing: In an effort to quickly identify how big the ripple is to someone who may have gotten sick, they are suggesting contact tracing. MSC Cruises is currently doing that in Europe by providing everyone with an RFID wristband that can track everyone's whereabouts. 5. Shore excursions: You'll only be able to visit the port, if you are signed up for a cruise ship sponsored shore excursion. These excursions have been vetted for safety in the tour operators, guides, vans, locations, etc. There is also no deviating--you must stay on the tour, or you will not be allowed back onboard the ship (and yes, this did happen with a recent family in Italy on an MSC Cruise--go MSC!). So there you have it--some of the proposed protocols for reopening cruising that stood out to me. It also important to note that the panel did signify some protocols that should be permanent changes and others that will only be needed in the short-term. What do you think? I'm all for doing whatever is going to make cruising safest for the masses, but I know not everyone is the same. Just remember, whenever you feel comfortable cruising again, you must comply with the protocols set in place. Don't want to comply--probably should wait a bit longer until you get back to cruising.