World Cruises And Far
It might sound like a contradiction, but at the other end of the scale, we see world cruises and cruises to far flung destinations, whether by ocean or river, becoming more popular.
This has been borne out by booking trends, but the other factor in play is those people who had their once-in-a-lifetime cruise canceled in 2020 and aren’t hopeful for it happening in 2021 will have waited three or four years to take that bucket list cruise. There’s also a sense with the pandemic that life is short, and what is the point of putting off that special experience any longer — if not now, then when?
Add to that a trend we have seen bubbling away for a while — experiential cruises — and we predict a boom in multi-generational cruises with grandparents taking one or two generations with them for shared experiences.
Update On Cruise Vessel Covid
Vessel: Pacific Explorer YELLOW*
Arriving Sydney 10 October
Vessel: Coral Princess GREEN*
Arriving Eden 10 October
Vessel: Carnival Splendor GREEN*
Arriving Sydney 9 October
Arriving Sydney 10 October 18 October
Arriving Sydney 20 October 21 October
Arriving Sydney 22 October
No / Low Impact to VesselThere are very few cases on board , and there is no impact to services.
Low-Moderate Impact to VesselThere are some cases on board , but there is no impact to critical services such as healthcare, engineering, cleaning, food and beverage.
Moderate Impact to VesselThere are quite a few cases on board , and/or the vessels staffing or resources are impacted. However, it can safely maintain critical services.
High Impact to VesselThere are a lot of cases on board and/or the vessel is unable to maintain critical services due to staffing or resource shortages.
Cdc Says Risk Of Getting Covid
Before adjusting protocols Friday for cruises in its voluntary COVID-19 program, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last Tuesday lowered its assessment of cruising to Level 2 or “moderate” risk.
Cruise ships had been lowered to Level 3 status in mid-February after being at Level 4 since December.
The health agency recommends that all cruise ships operating in U.S. waters choose to take part in the program, though it is voluntary. While it’s optional, 110 cruise ships have opted in and only one opted out of participation, according to the CDC’s Cruise Ship Status Dashboard which provides info on COVID-19 levels present on ships and what kinds of precautions those vessels are taking.
Contributing: Bailey Schulz, Eve Chen
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Should I Cruise This Summer
The short answer is its complicated.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has lifted its mandates for cruise ships, it is suggesting all passengers get up to date with their vaccinations before boarding.
Additionally, the CDC advises those at increased risk or who are immunocompromised should talk to their health care provider before heading on their trip.
Health experts have repeatedly warned that the virus spreads easily between people in close quarters, like those experienced onboard ships. The CDC says that even if passengers are vaccinated, the virus can still spread on a cruise ship and put everyone on board at risk of infection.
Previously, the CDC had issued a Conditional Sailing Order for cruise ships, which detailed a number of requirements and precautions that cruise ships had to undergo in order to embark on any trips. The order expired in January.
Since then, cruise lines can choose to participate in the CDC-recommended COVID-19 Program.
Cruising Is Still Not Safe
So is cruising safe yet? No. And it will probably never be completely safe.
The CDC’s clumsy actions have just muddied the waters when it comes to cruise safety. Hopefully, this story has cleared things up a little. Cruising is still risky. Don’t let government declarations or cruise line propaganda convince you otherwise. Book with caution and be careful out there.
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Tentative Cruise Schedules For Summer
Ocean cruise lines continue to cancel sailings to comply with the CDCs Conditional Sailing Order. Some lines are already sailing and others hope to resume in the coming months. Major cruise lines like Carnival, Disney, and Celebrity Cruise are in a pause for the next few months. Others, like Norwegian and Princess Cruises have delayed sailings until June 30, 2021. Cunard extended its pause for Queen Victoria to May 16, 2021.
That means for now, forget about sailing from Miami or Fort Lauderdale. However, Carnival is optimistic about the June 5, 2021, launch date for its newest ship, from Port Canaveral, FL. The 5,282-passenger will be the first ship in the industry with an onboard roller coaster.
What Is The Cancellation Policy
Since cancellation policies vary by cruise line, its important to understand your cruise lines policy.
All lines have adjusted their policies to be far more flexible than theyve been in the past, says Gray Faust.
For example, cruisers are able to cancel their cruises much closer to a sail date than before. And cruise lines are offering cruise credits worth more than the value of your originally booked cruise. These apply to sailings that have been canceled. In fact, many lines are offering cruise credits worth around 125 percent of the originally booked cruise.
Along with more relaxed cancellation policies, most cruise lines are flexible about rescheduling, says Jonathan de Araujo, owner of The Vacationeer Travel Agency.
They are also offering refunds to guests with symptoms of COVID-19 to avoid bringing any contagions onto the ship, says Araujo, who specializes in Disney World and Disney Cruise bookings.
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When Should You Book A Cruise
Now. There is high demand for a limited number of spots on cruise ships that will operate at 50 percent capacity. So dont expect to get a great deal.
Because of the current high demand for cruises, as well as expected limited sailings, were actually not seeing very many deals available. Cruise lines have been able to keep their pricing relatively stable, says Gray Faust.
The limited capacity and need for reservations is another reason to book now, says Gray Faust, to ensure you can get reservations for the experiences you want onboard.
Plus, she said, some cruise lines are implementing mandatory cruise line shore excursions, in order to keep the travel bubble in place on land. So thats also worth keeping in mind you might have less of a choice of excursions than youre used to, she says.
Use Your Future Cruise Credits
If you had cruises cancelled in 2020, odds are you have some future cruise credits. Now is the best time to use those funds and apply them to a 2022 cruise. For the most part , you should be able to apply these funds to cruises through the end of 2022.
Of course, make sure to check your cruise lines terms and conditions regarding these certificates. It is possible that if you wait too long to use the funds they could expire. Or, once cruising resumes, the costs for cruise vacations might go up. Thats why its better to lock in your voyage for next year now.
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Is It Safe To Cruise Right Now Everyone Onboard Is Vaccinated And Tested
I made a conscious decision to spend the past month — as omicron raged — at home, as I’ve been spending more time with my parents who are in their mid-70s and I don’t want to potentially spread COVID to them.
So getting out onto a ship came with a renewed appreciation for precautions. Everyone onboard SeaDream II is vaccinated, and masks are worn in all indoor public spaces, so there is a higher level of comfort on this cruise than I’ve felt even going to the grocery store at home.
All passengers had to have either a PCR test, taken within three days of sailing, or an antigen, taken within 24 hours, before they could even board the ship. Once we reached the port, everyone was required to take an additional onsite rapid test.
What Is It Like On A Cruise Right Now
Covid has not gone away. It continues to spread and you can get it at the supermarket, at a concert, at a sporting event, at a theme park, on a cruise, or well, anyplace you come into contact with other people. The difference is that if you get covid someplace where you go for a while and then leave, you don’t actually know where you caught it.
I’ve taken eight cruises since the July restart. The protocols have changed since the first one, but here’s where they currently stand:
- All crew must be vaccinated.
- All passengers ages 12 and over must be fully vaccinated.
- All passengers must present a negative covid test result taken no more than two days before the sailing.
Masks are no longer required for passengers, but crew members still wear them. Capacity has steadily increased since my first cruise back in July with passenger loads being close to full capacity on my most recent weekend cruise on Freedom of the Seas.
With nearly every person onboard both vaccinated and tested, I’ve honestly felt safer at sea than I do visiting my local supermarket . The same could also be said for my covid era visits to Disney World, trips to Las Vegas, and a couple of live, sold out sporting events.
That does not mean there’s no risk. I have never caught covid, but I do have friends who caught it onboard .
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What To Expect When Going On A Cruise
Many cruise lines are requiring passengers to be fully vaccinated. Disney Cruise Line has extended this rule to those under five. Guests may need to take supervised antigen or PCR tests prior to boarding. People are also being told to wear masks indoors. Other precautions may include:
- Staggered boarding times. Guests can select times to arrive at their port by using an app. Using the app spaces out people entering the cruise ship
- Areas are frequently disinfected.
- The air found in public areas gets replaced every five-to-six minutes by using enhanced filtration systems.
- Medical professionals have received extended training to deal with COVID-19, while medical centers are being equipped with testing.
- Muster drills are provided through videos guests can watch in their rooms prior to checking in at the muster station prior to departing.
Shore Excursions & Transportation Services
- Ensure all shore excursion tour companies facilitate physical distancing to avoid crowding between individuals who are not traveling companions or part of the same family encourage mask wearing while indoors and adhere to cleaning and disinfection, and other COVID-19 public health measures throughout the tour.
- Develop and maintain a protocol for managing persons with COVID-19 and close contacts who are recommended to quarantine and who need to disembark at a foreign port of call. At a minimum, the protocol should include the following:
- Plans for disembarking and housing persons with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 needing shore-based hospital care and their travel companion for the duration of their isolation or quarantine period.
- Commercial repatriation of U.S.-based persons with COVID-19 and close contacts should follow CDC guidance. For commercial repatriation of foreign-based persons with COVID-19 or close contacts, cruise ship operators should consult with all relevant public health authorities.
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Jefferson Co Sheriffs Office Offers Free Firearms Safety Classes
JEFFERSON CO., Ala. – The Jefferson County Sheriffs Office is training people on the importance of firearms safety, offering classes to people interested in learning best practices as it relates to gun safety.
Classes will be offered at the Jefferson County Training Range in Fultondale throughout the month of October.
These free classes start Saturday, Oct. 8, but you must register to attend and bring your own ammo.
Youll get more familiar with your own gun, but if you dont already have one, youll be allowed to use one of several different types offered in the class.
Youll also learn proper shooting techniques and get a chance to fire a few rounds.
Alabama law doesnt require gun owners to take gun safety courses, but the director of the training center said these types of classes are extremely important and help prevent the misuse of firearms.
We have been doing this program for several years open to citizens. We have couples come, husbands and wives, mothers and sons, parents and children, females living by themselves. Weve got a lot of people out there with weapons. If you have a firearm, you need to learn to use it safely and thats what this course encourages, said Director of the Jefferson County Sheriffs Training Center, Tommie Black.
Again, to participate in the class you must register by calling the JCSO Academy at 849-5246.
The classes are free, but you must bring your own ammo.
Copyright 2022 WBRC. All rights reserved.
If I Test Positive For Covid
Guests that reserved their cruise before August 8, 2022 will have the following COVID-19 Assistance at no extra charge.
- 100% cruise fare refund for you, and your Travelling Party, if any of you tests positive for COVID-19 within 10 days prior to the cruise or at the boarding terminal, for cruises departing on or before April 30, 2023.
- Pro-rated cruise fare refund if your cruise is cut short for reasons related to COVID-19, for cruises departing on or before September 30, 2022.
- If you test positive for COVID-19 during the cruise, Royal Caribbean will cover the costs of COVID-19 related medical treatment onboard, and provide assistance with any required land-based quarantine, as well as coordinate travel home for you and your Traveling Party, for cruises departing on or before September 30, 2022.
Guests that reserved their cruise on or after August 8, 2022 will have the following COVID-19 Assistance at no extra charge.
- 100% cruise fare refund for you, and your Travelling Party, if any of you tests positive for COVID-19 within 10 days prior to the cruise or at the boarding terminal, for cruises departing on or before April 30, 2023.â¯
- Pro-rated cruise fare refund if your cruise is cut short for reasons related to COVID-19, for cruises departing on or before September 30, 2022.â¯
- If you test positive for COVID-19 during the cruise, Royal Caribbean will cover the costs of COVID-19 related medical treatment onboard.â¯
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Commitment To Health And Safety Remains
Despite easing these pre-cruise protocols, Norwegian Cruise Line still remains committed to a safe and healthy cruise environment for all guests and crew members.
Health and safety are always our first priority in fact, we were the health and safety leaders from the very start of the pandemic,said Sommer.
Onboard protocols such as enhanced cleaning and sanitation, upgraded ionizing air filters, and improved medical facilities continue to be standard practice aboard all Norwegian Cruise Line ships. The cruise line also has quarantine facilities available on all ships if needed.
Can Cruise Ships Ever Be Sustainable
In 2021, Hurtigrutens MS Fridtjof Nansen was voted the most sustainable ship in the world by Scope ESG Analysis due to its battery-hybrid technology. Single use plastic has also been banned aboard Hurtigrutens vessels as well as heavy fuel.
Not all cruise companies are moving in the same direction though.
Carnival Corporation is in its last year of a 5-year criminal probation in the U.S. for its ongoing failure to comply with current environmental laws and regulations laws and regulations that need to be much stronger in many cases, continues Keever.
For years the cruise industry has failed to make the changes and upgrades needed voluntarily despite a few bright spots, let alone comply with current rules.
For years the cruise industry has failed to make the changes and upgrades needed voluntarily despite a few bright spots, let alone comply with current rules.
In order to name and shame the worst offenders, Friends of the Earth have been producing a Cruise Report Card for the past three years, ranking the best and worst liners in the industry.
We need the U.S. Congress and the Biden Administration to step up, along with international bodies like the IMO, to really crack down on the cruise industry. These companies have repeatedly shown that they will only travel towards real sustainability if their bottom line is at stake.
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Cruise Ships And Covid
Although operators have taken steps to improve infection control, cruise ships continue to experience COVID-19 outbreaks, affecting passengers and seafarers. The confined setting on board and combination of multiple households enables COVID-19 to spread faster than it is able to elsewhere.
Cruises with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases have previously been denied permission to dock or to disembark passengers. This can have serious implications for passengers and seafarers on board. You should check the protocols of the cruise operator to ensure you are comfortable with safety measures.
The UK Chamber of Shipping has published guidance for UK cruise operators, passengers and seafarers on cruises during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Small Ships Sailing To Alaska
Still sailing to Alaska are a handful of smaller cruise lines. They fall under the CDC capacity limits of fewer than 250 passengers, are American-built and crewed and stay mostly in Alaska waters, so theyre not impacted by current restrictions. Those ships on lines such as UnCruise, American Cruise Lines, Alaskan Dream Cruise and Lindblad, have started or are about to start their 2021 season, and from their accounts, demand is up. Lindblad recently added more ships in the region to handle the demand.
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Cruise Line Operator Obligations
In Canada, as a condition of sailing, cruise lines will be required to adhere to a strict health framework with three major components:
1. COVID-19 management plans Measures to prevent or limit the introduction and/or spread onboard cruise ships, which include:
- Pre-boarding measures to prevent transmission of COVID-19
- Measures to prevent transmission of COVID-19 onboard
- Measures to prevent transmission during shore excursions and port visits
- Measures to isolate suspected and/or confirmed cases of COVID-19 and
- Preparedness and response for suspected and/or confirmed cases of COVID-19.
2. Ship-to-Shore checklist Measures to prevent or limit the spread of COVID-19 during the onboarding and disembarking of passengers at a port. These must account for:
- A COVID-19 management plan, which includes an outbreak management plan
- Mask use and physical distancing according to local/provincial health guidelines
- Hygiene measures, cleaning, and disinfecting and
- Staff education and training.
3. Testing and reporting requirements Under the Quarantine, Isolation and Other Obligations Order, the Prohibition of Entry Order, and the Transport Canada Interim Order, cruise lines and passengers will need to adhere to strict requirements for testing at key checkpoints, and are required to report back to the Government of Canada.Cruise Lines obligations