The first cruise ship to depart from American ports in more than 15 months will head to the Caribbean this summer.
Celebrity Cruises received approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to take passengers on a seven-night cruise on June 26, the company announced this week.
“The CDC and the cruise industry agree that the industry has what it takes to move forward and that there are no further roadblocks for returning to sailing in the middle of summer,” CDC spokesman Caitlin Shockey confirmed in an email.
It’s welcome news for an industry disrupted during the pandemic right now, with courage from the CDC’s green light and quarantined demands. The industry therefore had high hopes for a speedy recovery.
Companies must strike the right balance in keeping their promises about comfortable and relaxing experiences. while still following the rules set by the CDC.
But Stewart Chiron, an industry expert who runs the business as The Cruise Guy, said the “abundant demand” shows that furious passengers are often willing to jump through a few hoops to get back up. ship
“If they could set sail in May or June of last year. There are people there,” he said. “There are many people who are desperate to go. They don’t care where they go or where they go. The itinerary is secondary to going on a cruise and going out into the ocean and doing the usual stuff. Again, it’s the main factor.”
But what exactly does “normal” mean for passengers?
Vaccination will bring you closer to cruising before the plague.
For the most part, each cruise experience is based on vaccination status.
Celebrity cruise permits are based on 95% of crew and passengers being fully vaccinated prior to boarding in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The CDC is also giving cruise companies the option to meet that threshold. Companies can try trial cruise services at limited capacity to test the effectiveness of their health measures.
Cruise ships that meet vaccination criteria will, however, have relaxed masks and more social distancing rules.
Vaccination should be suitable for most passengers. In an April survey of readers of the Cruise Critic website, 81% of respondents would cruise if a vaccine was needed.
“Buffet is not dead yet”
The CDC has banned cruise ships from leaving US ports on March 14, 2020 under a No Sail directive due to the risk of spreading COVID-19.
closeness dining together and various activities Among international passengers this has led to the first serious outbreak of COVID-19, such as an outbreak aboard the Diamond Princess and Grand Princess ships, which has sickened more than 800 passengers and crew.
In March 2020, cases linked to cruise travelers accounted for 17% of reported cases in the United States.
That said, self-serve buffets seem a thing of the past, even before the coronavirus outbreak, many cruise ships opted instead for buffet waiters to curb the spread of the flu.
But under the new CDC guidelines, passengers who have been fully vaccinated can fill their plates themselves.
Chris Gray Faust, editor-in-chief of the website, said: “We were surprised by this because the carriers seem to be gearing more towards buffets that serve and that kind of choice. cruise critic. “But the buffet is not dead.”
While vaccinated guests can social distance for a casual dinner, cruises are still necessary to encourage alfresco dining and room service.
At the port there was a call for a cruise. But it is not necessary to prohibit independent surveys by unvaccinated passengers.
“It looks like if you’re vaccinated and you’re on a boat where most people get vaccinated. Your experience … will be more similar than we thought before the pandemic,” Gray Faust said.
“Everything that people love — you know, socializing with others, eating and drinking, going to the pool, going to the show — will remain open and open.”
Don’t expect digital detox results.
But the plague road signs will remain. If shipping lines follow the CDC’s recommendations, tourists will see a lot of equipment.
The line is encouraged to provide wearable contact tracking technology. For some ships of Royal Caribbean International Waterproof bracelets have been launched for guests. This will make it easier to identify who is infected with the coronavirus in the event of an outbreak.
The company’s CEO, Michael Bayley, uses surveillance technology. in the form of face and body recognition to investigate contact tracking cases
“Those things really work. at least what we’ve seen in Europe and Singapore.” Gray Faust of cruise critic.
and rehearsing the prestigious assembly? It becomes virtual for some lines.
Cruise Guy, Stewart Chiron, will take its first cruise to the Caribbean next month.
He sees the adoption of new defenses as less of a barrier to a carefree vacation and a more wise step to adjust to the direction of the industry.
“So far, it is changing for the better. They are not based on convenience alone. But based on the science we have today,” he said, as opposed to “the confusion of three or four months ago.”
But he was still willing to deal with additional annoyances. if it means he can cruise before traveling in late June He will end a cruise ship drought next week for a Caribbean trip outside US waters. which will leave St. Maarten
For him, it was the outbound flight of the airline. Long queues and vaccination documents. that lies between him and the smooth sailing
“When I travel next week I will carry more baggage with a little more patience,” he said.