After sitting in dry dock for 15-months, the cruise line industry is finally back for business. Companies such as Royal Caribbean, Carnival Corp and Celebrity Cruises are set to restart operations this summer.
Committed to providing guests with a COVID-19 free environment, cruise lines have returned at a limited capacity and displaying a series of biosafety protocols intended to meet international requirements for ensuring the highest possible standards of security.
Rapid increase in demand
Cruise ship travel is now in hot demand. Crystal cruises recently reported that almost 4,000 passengers booked their Crystal Serenity’s sailings from Nassau or Bimini that are scheduled to resume travel on July 3, 2021.
Carnival Corp. is another company announcing a rapid increase in demand for Q2, 2021 compared to Q1, 2021. Also bookings for 2022 are surpassing the numbers seen during 2019 as of May 31.
Additionally, managing director of Iglu Cruise, Simone Clark has spoken about the positive figures for 2022. “We are seeing high demand for all new cruises going on sale at the moment. Both 2022 cruises, for those wishing to confirm something special further out and now for the new round-Britain cruises,” said Clark.
Top Caribbean islands were among the first spotted by carriers to resume travel to. U.S. travelers can also visit Alaska, Bermuda, Mexico and Central America.
In case vacationers don’t feel committed to a long trip, they can opt for domestic travel through the Mississippi River on American Cruise Lines, Victory Cruise Lines, and American Queen Steamboat Company vessels.
Vaccines & Restrictions
Most U.S. and international cruise companies require passengers to have received all doses of a vaccine against COVID-19 no less than 14 days before boarding. All staff and crew members are also demanded to be fully vaccinated against the virus.
However, states like Florida and Texas have refused to allow cruise companies to require vaccine certificates for cruise passengers.
“There aren’t restrictions either way, whether you are vaccinated or unvaccinated that shouldn’t limit your ability to participate,” said Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody last week.
However, unvaccinated travelers may be doing themselves a disservice due to the additional costs and other restrictions. They must present proof of a negative COVID-19 test and take another test in the embarkation hall. The worst part is they will find that some cruise venues will be tagged “for vaccinated people only.”
Following a stock’s sink after two young passengers tested positive for COVID-19 a couple of days ago, Royal Caribbean will now demand unvaccinated travelers on Florida cruises to also purchase travel insurance.
Virtual queues, mobile apps and plenty of booking options are now available for travelers so they can limit their contact with staff and other guests.