Since it is very common to arrive home from a plane voyage with the sniffles, or something even worse, flying during COVID-19 is probably not the best idea. We all know that entire cruise ships were quarantined at the start of the pandemic. However, the cruise industry has put many changes in place and it is getting safer than ever to travel by ship.
At the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020, the Centers for Disease Control banned all cruises until the end of October 2020. No one knows yet if that ban will be extended past October or not, but it’s a safe bet that the ban will not be any shorter than that.
Recently, a cruise ship departed from Italy. It was the first since the start of the pandemic. It employed many strict safety measures including limiting the cruise to about half its normal capacity. The cruise industry nervously awaited the outcome and happily, no one on board was sickened by the virus.
Currently, many cruise lines are planning ahead and allowing people to book with them. These cruises from San Diego are booking for the very month that the U.S. cruise ban is lifted.
In the months that cruise lines were shut down, they have put many measures into place in order to keep everyone on board safe.
Just as most places on land are enforcing limited capacity, cruise ships are also limiting how many passengers are allowed on board. One cruise ship staple, the all you can eat buffet, will not be available anytime soon. In addition, ships are enforcing temperature screenings, mask-wearing and social distancing everywhere including the deck.
Passengers may not be thrilled about these changes, especially the mask wearing, but it’s currently the best way to avoid the spread of diseases.
To encourage wary passengers who are hesitant to book a cruise, many cruise lines are offering a “cruise with confidence” policy. It allows future passengers to change their minds if COVID-19 cases start to rise again. It also protects anyone who becomes ill at the time of travel.
The policy allows free rescheduling of any trip through May of 2022 and plans can be changed up to 48 hours before departure.
Since sicknesses have always traveled quickly among cruise ship passengers, changes being made now due to the current pandemic, are excellent changes that will help protect the wellness of all future passengers. As well as the common restrictions that are currently being enforced everywhere, new cutting edge products and technologies are being employed.
Cruise ship personnel are constantly using a substance that kills the coronavirus (and other viruses as well) on hard surfaces in about 30 seconds.
Another new technology is pretty amazing. Maybe you have seen the use of ultraviolet (lavender colored) lights to quickly kill germs. They have been used in dining establishments and hair salons for quite some time, but are now becoming more commonplace. Libraries are using UV machines to disinfect materials returned by patrons
People can even buy their own UV machines to disinfect keys, cell phones and other everyday objects.
Cruise ships have taken UV light to the next level. Many of them are installing Far-UVC portals in traffic-heavy areas. As passengers walk through a portal, it will kill viruses on their bodies, their clothes and even in the air around them. Hopefully, this technology will one day be commonplace in all high traffic areas such as museums and airports.
Those avid travelers who are impatiently waiting for the day they can take off on a cruise ship again should take heart. All signs point to the cruise industry having a strong comeback after months of quiet. It seems they have spent these idle months really taking strong action to ensure the safety of their future passengers.
The COVID-19 precautions that are being made will no doubt stay in place, which should make all future passengers feel great about traveling by ship again.