As cruises do their utmost to avoid a repeat of early 2020, the world of cruising will look quite a bit different as ships set sail again.
Get on board with these changes
Before lockdowns became a reality in the United States, cruise ships provided a disturbing preview of what was to come. From the 14-day quarantine of thousands of people on the virus-stricken Diamond Princess ship in February to harrowing stories of cruise ship workers confined to their tiny cabins for months, these news bytes left people wondering if, or perhaps why, anyone would ever take a cruise again. In April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a “no-sail order,” which they then extended in mid-July. This order didn’t actually provide a fixed date that cruises had to be docked until; it just prohibited cruises from sailing until they met certain COVID-19 protection standards.
And now, as a turbulent summer ends, some smaller cruise lines are starting to sail again. Others, however—including major carriers like Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Disney—are continuing to wait for months to come. Whenever, if ever, you choose to go on a cruise again, here are some things you and your fellow passengers won’t be able to do. Of course, these will vary quite a bit by cruise line and individual ship, but these are the general things experts think you’re likely to see change. Plus, check out these things polite people never do on cruises.
Cameron LeBlancFatherlyMay 11, 2020, 11:44 AM CDT 0:08 0:55 EmbedClosed Caption Settings Carnival Will Slowly Resume Operations Starting August 1
Cruise ships have a long history as vectors for infectious diseases, including COVID-19. It would logical if the current pandemic to dampened enthusiasm for cruise vacations, but early signs are that the opposite could be happening. Apparently, people really like cruises, risk of serious illness and death be damned.
This theory rests on what happened after Carnival reopened a limited number of routes last week for bookings starting in August. According to a report from TMZ of all places, cruise reservations made through an American Express travel franchise are through the roof, up 200 percent from where they were at this time last year.
April 1, 2020, 6:58 AM CDT / Updated April 1, 2020, 11:29 AM CDT By Safia Samee Ali
When Andrea Anderson and her husband boarded the MS Zaandam cruise ship in Buenos Aires more than three weeks ago, they didn’t know that their trip of a lifetime would disastrously coincide with a global pandemic that would leave them shut out and stranded at sea.
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Despite a positive COVID-19 test from a passenger who had disembarked days earlier, thousands of people were allowed to leave a cruise ship in Miami Sunday without undergoing medical screening.
The former passenger got off the MSC Meraviglia in Miami on March 8 after an eight-day Caribbean cruise, leaving 103 passengers and the ship’s crew aboard for the next voyage. Four days later, after the ship had sailed with thousands of additional new passengers aboard, the Public Health Agency of Canada informed Broward-based MSC Cruises that the former passenger had tested positive. Keep Reading
The U.S. State Department has warned travelers — and the elderly and those with underlying health issues in particular — to avoid cruises during the coronavirus outbreak. And the news has been flooded with cautionary tales of passengers quarantined on ships such as the Carnival-owned CCL, -9.45% Diamond Princess and Grand Princess after passengers became sick with the novel coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 illness.
But that hasn’t discouraged some people from charging full speed ahead toward the cruises on which they’d booked passage before the outbreak went global — including a few who spoke to the Daily Beast. And one set of parents has left Twitter TWTR, -8.77% reeling.
James and Kim Simon said that they are not pulling the plug on their college daughter’s plans to sail away on a Royal Caribbean RCL, -14.12% cruise with a dozen friends for spring break this week. And here’s their stated reasoning, per the Daily Beast’s reporting:
Sunday began and ended with coronavirus alerts from Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp.
More than two dozen Georgians aboard a cruise ship quarantined due to coronavirus will be transferred to an air reserve base in Marietta, the governor’s office announced a little after 9 a.m.
At 10:16 p.m. came word of four possible new cases.
“The Georgia Department of Public Health is awaiting confirmatory testing on four new presumptive positive tests for COVID-19 in Georgia residents,” the Sunday night news release said. “Testing was completed today at the Georgia Public Health Laboratory and the results have been submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for verification.”
While coronavirus has left few corners of the travel industry unscathed, its impact has been especially worrisome for the cruise segment, given the dramatic coverage of ship quarantines and the history of virus outbreaks onboard ships.
Although financial analysts and cruise experts acknowledge the severity of the coronavirus impact, many think any damage to the cruise business will be short-lived once the crisis has abated.
“This definitely appears to be among the worst issues facing our industry in over 30 years,” said Anthony Hamawy, president of Cruise.com. “I can’t imagine any cruise line not feeling the impact on their business.”