Thursday, August 11, 2022

Are Cruise Ships Safe Now

Don't Miss

Domestic And Global Ocean Cruises Sailing Now

How safe are cruise ships from the coronavirus? | COVID-19 Special

For those who cant wait to start sailing again, American Cruise Lines welcomes passengers aboard the Independence, a small ship with fewer than 250 passengers. The ship sails along the coastal southeastern U.S. Vaccines are required to sail.

While the pandemic has shut down most cruises, there are some areas of the world where several ships are sailing. However, in most cases, these are single-nationality cruises calling at a limited number of ports, and usually in the country of origin. Nearly all are in Europe or Asia.

For example, MSC Cruises offers seven-night cruises around Italy and to Greece for Italians. World Dream Cruises and Royal Caribbean offer three- and-four night sailings from Singapore for Singaporeans only. Ponant offers cruises to citizens and residents of Qatar.

How Dangerous Are Cruises Right Now

Many public health experts maintain that there is inherent risk to taking a cruise right now, and its up to passengers to decide how much risk theyre willing to assume if they want to set sail while covid cases are on the rise.

But cruise ship executives argue theyre in a better place than ever to deal with an outbreak on board. The ship environment is no longer a disadvantage, Richard Fain, the CEO of Royal Caribbean told the New York Times in July. Its an advantage because unlike anywhere else, we are able to control our environment, which eliminates the risks of a big outbreak.

Even with the omicron variant now circulating widely, some Americans still agree with this line of thinking. Its probably just as safe as going to the local grocery store, Kim Parker, who recently sailed on the Royal Caribbean cruise with 55 infected passengers, told the Sun Sentinel. Another passenger on the ship told the newspaper she had booked another cruise for February, and had no plans to cancel it.

There are plenty of Americans who will avoid cruises given these recent outbreaks, but its clear that some are still willing to assume the risk. If youre going to spend time in a petri dish, it might as well be one with a waterslide?

Getting Ready To Cruise From Bridgetown Barbados

Here are the latest protocols for our guests sailing from Barbados, which we will continue to update as public health situations evolve. Booked guests will be provided the latest full details prior to sailing.

Vaccination Requirement

All guests age 12 and older must present proof of full COVID-19 vaccination with the final dose administered at least 14 days before sailing. This is a requirement of Royal Caribbean to sail guests who are unable to show proof of full vaccination will not be permitted to board.

Children age 11 and under do not require COVID-19 vaccination to cruise. However, kids age 5 to 11 who have been vaccinated may present proof of full vaccination and follow the protocols for vaccinated guests. If you are cruising with an unvaccinated child, there are some specific health protocols you will need to be aware of.

Due to the requirements of destinations on your Barbados itinerary, we can only accept vaccines that are .

Each guests regimen must include at least two doses of vaccine unless the guest received the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. No exceptions will be made, even if the guest’s resident country has authorized a single-shot regimen for a two dose vaccine.

Royal Caribbean will not accept a Certificate of Recovery in lieu of a vaccination record card for guests of vaccine eligible age.

All crew onboard the ship and at our private destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay, are fully vaccinated.

Follow these steps for a smooth boarding day.

Dining

Recommended Reading: Best Time To Visit Mediterranean

Which Ships Are Sailing From The Caribbean

Royal Caribbean and Celebrity are resuming cruises in the Caribbean beginning in June. These cruises are open to American cruisers and will sail from Caribbean ports, allowing the lines to bypass the current pause in service in the United States.

The Caribbean is the most popular destination among North American cruisers. Adventure of the Seas will sail from the Bahamas, and Vision of the Seas from Bermuda. Celebrity Millennium will sail from St. Maarten. Sailings for the three ships are scheduled for June.

TravelingMom Tip: Youll need a passport to sail on international routes. Heres what you need to know to get passports for your kids and mistakes not to make.

Why I Feel Safer Now On A Cruise Ship Than In My Home Town

Cruise Ships

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Maybe I should just move onto a cruise ship full time.

It surely would take away some of my COVID-19 worries .

As Ive seen first-hand on multiple cruises in the last few months, cruise ships have become like floating escape-from-the-COVID-19-pandemic zones. Thanks to what some may consider insanely strict new COVID-19-related rules , they are places where you are likely to be surrounded almost entirely by people who are COVID-19 free.

To put it in popcorn movie terms, cruise ships have become the pandemic equivalent of the alien-free floating bases that you always see in apocalyptic alien and zombie films like this summers The Tomorrow War .

For cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPGs cruise newsletter

This is, of course, an about-face from the way cruise ships were in early 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began. Back then, as anyone who even remotely follows the news knows, the illness ran rampant through multiple vessels. But, as Ive experienced first-hand, the situation on board ships now is far different than it was 18 months ago.

Its being in North Carolina, by a mile.

Don’t Miss: Best Time Of Year For Alaskan Cruises

What Is The Current Situation

CDC has temporarily extended the CSO through January 15, 2022, with minor modifications. The CSO, as modified, applies to foreign-flagged cruise ships operating or seeking to operate in U.S. waters. U.S.-flagged cruise ships previously covered by the CSO may continue to participate voluntarily. Passenger operations have now resumed on cruise ships. As modified, the CSO aligns with current public health considerations and other factors onboard cruise ships. Information about the COVID-19 status of ships sailing under the CSO is available on CDC’s website.

As of July 23, 2021, the CSO and accompanying measures, such as technical instructions, are nonbinding recommendations for cruise ships arriving in, located within, or departing from a port in Florida. CDC is continuing to operate the CSO as a voluntary program for such ships that choose to follow the CSO measures voluntarily.

Getting Ready To Cruise From San Juan Puerto Rico

Here are the latest protocols for our guests sailing from San Juan, which we will continue to update as public health situations evolve. Booked guests will be provided the latest full details prior to sailing.

Guests traveling into San Juan from a country other than the U.S. should be sure to look into any requirements your own home country may have for exiting or re-entering its borders. Additionally, international guests on connecting flights to or from San Juan should make sure to familiarize themselves with local requirements in the country where their connection takes place prior to traveling.

Vaccination Requirement

All Royal Caribbean guests age 12 and older must present proof of full COVID-19 vaccination with the final dose administered at least 14 days before sailing.

Children age 11 and under do not require COVID-19 vaccination to cruise. However, kids age 5 to 11 who have been vaccinated may present proof of full vaccination and follow the protocols for vaccinated guests. If you are cruising with an unvaccinated child, there are some specific health protocols you will need to be aware of.

Each guests regimen must include at least two doses of vaccine unless the guest received the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This guidance is per the U.S. CDC, and no exceptions will be made, even if the guest’s resident country has authorized a single-shot regimen for a two dose vaccine.

Travel Documents Checklist

Follow these steps for a smooth boarding day.

Dining

Recommended Reading: Alcohol Inclusive Cruise

Cruising Is Still Safe Despite Norwegian Breakaway Covid Cases

In the latest update, the Norwegian Breakaway cruise ship has 17 confirmed cases of COVID, but cruises are still a safe vacation option.

During the last six months, cruise executives have continuously said that COVID-19 cases onboard cruise ships cannot be avoided. At this time and according to the latest update, there are 17 cases on Norwegian Breakaway out of a total of 3,200 passengers and crew. Should you be worried about stepping on board a cruise ship?

What Are The Covid

Are Cruise Ships now safe?

Each cruise line has different protocols, but the bulk of the mainstream lines have a very consistent approach to ensuring risk is minimalized.

Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, and Royal Caribbean require full vaccination for all passengers over the age of 12. NCL actually requires everyone be vaccinated.

Some other lines have high vaccine mandates, such as Celebrity Cruises.

Nearly all cruise lines require passengers to get a negative Covid-19 test before boarding, and some do the test right at the cruise terminal on embarkation day. Unvaccinated kids on Royal Caribbean need to get a test before the cruise and on boarding day.

Not all cruise lines have the same policies, so it is important to check with each line and what requirements they have, including if you have to be vaccinated to go on the cruise.

You May Like: Cruise Lines Out Of Charleston

Us River Cruises Sailing Now

American Cruise Lines American Jazz is sailing on the lower Mississippi River. Open to all passengers.

American Queen Steamboat Company is operating, with American Duchess and American Countess sailing on the Mississippi River. Open to all passengers. Required: COVID-19 testing prior to departure, vaccines required as of July 1, 2021.

Things To Consider Before Booking A Cruise For 2021

Whether youre booking a trip directly with a cruise line or a travel agent, ask questions and do your research. Travis Blanchard, founder of Splash Bytes recommends the following:

  • Research all travel restrictions. Each place and city has its own travel and documentation requirements.
  • Know the medical protocols. Some cities wont just accept simple travel authority passes from the place of origin. They also require tourists to undergo COVID-19 tests such as swab tests or rapid tests.
  • Bring extra budget.There are tons of hidden charges that this pandemic have caused us, says Blanchard. Some of those fees are for sanitation, infection control and many more. Its wise to bring extra money on your next trip for unexpected expenses.

You May Like: Sf To Alaska Cruises

Cruise Ship Travel During Covid

CDC has temporarily extended the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order until January 15, 2022, with minor modifications. Learn more at CDC COVID-19 Orders for Cruise Ships.

CDC has temporarily extended the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order through January 15, 2022, with minor modifications. The CSO, as modified, applies only to foreign-flagged cruise ships operating or seeking to operate in U.S. waters. U.S.-flagged cruise ships previously covered by the CSO may continue to participate voluntarily. Passenger operations have now resumed on cruise ships. The CSO as modified aligns with current public health considerations and other factors onboard cruise ships.

As of July 23, 2021, the CSO and accompanying measures, such as technical instructions, are nonbinding recommendations for cruise ships arriving in, located within, or departing from a port in Florida. CDC is continuing to operate the CSO as a voluntary program for such ships that choose to follow the CSO measures voluntarily.

Factbox: How Cruises Are Trying To Keep Us Passengers Safe From Covid

Reassessing Cruise Safety

A cruise ship is docked amid the spread of the coronavirus disease , in Cozumel, Mexico December 6, 2021. REUTERS/Paola Chiomante

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Even with these protocols, at least 17 people tested positive for COVID-19 on a Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd ship that disembarked in New Orleans recently, highlighting the challenges in curbing the spread of COVID-19 in confined spaces. One member of the crew has a suspected case of the Omicron variant. read more

To be considered fully vaccinated, all the cruise lines require the final vaccine dose to be administered 14 days before the start of the cruise. All the cruise lines below require crew to be vaccinated.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Here are their policies:

* Norwegian Cruise Line has a 100% vaccination policy, meaning children under 5 who are not yet eligible for a vaccine are not permitted on cruises.

Norwegian tests its passengers for COVID at the port before they board.

* Major Carnival Corp and Royal Caribbean Group brands require most passengers age 12 and older to be fully vaccinated but the companies do make some exceptions. Unvaccinated children under the age 5 can cruise on Carnival’s ships.

Passengers must present a negative COVID test taken no more than two days before boarding. Royal Caribbean accepts antigen tests.

Everyone is tested by Disney Cruise Line at the terminal before boarding, meaning unvaccinated passengers are tested twice.

Recommended Reading: Cruises That Leave From New Orleans 2017

Understanding Health Risks Of Taking A Cruise

First things first, you should know there is no set answer regarding your health when it comes to cruising. As weve seen with this crisis, what feels safe to one person is not the same for another. Some feel secure only with strict social distancing and mask wearing. Other people believe that the pandemic is something we just have to live with and have returned to normal life.

That makes it difficult to say with certainty what is safe. After all, what one person might consider safe isnt the same for everyone.

Instead, we think that is appropriate to provide some context on whats happening on cruise ships as theyve come back.

New Procedures from Cruise LinesWhen cruises from the United States returned, they did so under the CDCs Conditional Sailing Order. The CSO lays out the baseline rules for cruise ships sailing from the U.S. to follow in order to return to sailing. This, combined with the cruise lines own policies, lay the foundation for sailing safely.

While there are some minor differences between the cruise lines, the major initiatives are largely the same, no matter which line you sail.

Vaccination: The cornerstone of sailing safely is vaccination. Some lines require everyone sailing on the ship to be vaccinated in order to sail. Others allow some people ineligible for the vaccine to sail but place more stringent rules on the experience for those passengers. In general, all crew are vaccinated and the vast majority of passengers have the shot.

Travel On Cruise Ships Outside Of Canada

You should continue to avoid all cruise ship travel outside of Canada. If you decide to take a cruise outside of Canada despite this advisory, there are some important facts you should consider.

If an outbreak of COVID-19 or another contagious illness were to occur:

  • you could be subject to quarantine procedures onboard the ship or in a foreign country
  • the range of consular services available on cruise ships may be significantly restricted by local authorities, especially in situations of quarantine
  • the cost of medical care could be very expensive if required, and you may need to pay for your medical bills immediately in cash

The Government of Canada wont pay your medical bills, including COVID-related expenses or medical evacuation.

If youre infected with COVID-19, you wont be able to return to Canada on a public flight until 14 days have passed. You shouldnt depend on the Government of Canada for assistance to change your travel plans.

The Government of Canada will continue to evaluate the situation and make changes as necessary to ensure the health and safety of all Canadians.

Read Also: Cruise From California To Hawaii How Long

Getting Ready To Cruise From Us Homeports

Here are the latest protocols for our guests sailing from the U.S., which we will continue to update as public health situations evolve. Booked guests will be provided the latest full details prior to sailing.

Guests traveling into the U.S. from another country should be sure to look into any requirements your own home country may have for exiting or re-entering its borders.

Vaccination Requirement

All Royal Caribbean guests age 12 and older must present proof of full COVID-19 vaccination with the final dose administered at least 14 days before sailing.

Children age 11 and under do not require COVID-19 vaccination to cruise. However, kids age 5 to 11 who have been vaccinated may present proof of full vaccination and follow the protocols for vaccinated guests. If you are cruising with an unvaccinated child, there are some specific health protocols you will need to be aware of.

Each guest’s regimen must include at least two doses of vaccine unless the guest received the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This guidance is per the U.S. CDC, and no exceptions will be made, even if the guest’s resident country has authorized a single-shot regimen for a two dose vaccine.

Royal Caribbean will not accept a Certificate of Recovery in lieu of a vaccination record card for guests of vaccine eligible age.

All crew onboard the ship and at our private destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay, are fully vaccinated.

Follow these steps for a smooth boarding day.

Onboard the Ship

Mask Guidance

Cruises Are ‘a Recipe For Transmission’

IS IT SAFE TO CRUISE NOW? // Carnival Cruise Vlog 2021

Even on a good day outside of the pandemic, cruises are challenging environments from an infection-control standpoint, Ostrosky says.

On a cruise, you often spend time in shared common areas. You eat and drink indoors at buffet restaurants with large communal tables, attend shows in theaters and touch all kinds of surfaces, from railings to casino games. If an outbreak happens at sea, you’re restricted to the boat, which can make the outbreak harder to contain and treat.

“It’s just a recipe for transmission,” Ostrosky says. That’s why it’s common to see outbreaks of other contagious respiratory or gastrointestinal viruses, like norovirus, aboard cruises.

Cruises are even particularly risky when compared to other types of travel, like driving or flying, because they present more opportunities for prolonged exposure. “Frankly, the risk on a two-hour flight where everyone is masked and airflow is good is than being on a cruise ship for five days straight,” says Dr. Preeti Malani, chief health officer at the University of Michigan.

Also Check: Park And Cruise Mobile Al

More articles

Popular Articles