We have now arrived in a post-pandemic world, which has meant profound changes in all areas of destination travel. This also means that cruise lines will change the way they run and operate to continue to have smooth sailing.
Big-name cruise companies have all been on pause since the pandemic’s strike coming to a head in mid-March. They are coming to a voluntarily halt the day before the CDC issued a “No Sail Order” for ships carrying over 250 passengers. From there forward, cruise lines have gone on to continue sailing but have developed a new normal when it comes to health and safety precautions to help ensure those that sail are healthy and safe in their travels.
The largest of the cruise lines, Norwegian Cruise Line, has announced new guidelines that will include temperature checks before boarding, reduced passenger quantity, and frequent reminders for guests to wash their hands and practice proper hygiene methods. They have also gone to the lengths to decrease the size of activities that are held. All of their ships will no longer feature buffets but now have fully served meals. They will also include new medical grade H12 HEPA air filters to eliminate 99.95% of all airborne pathogens to reduce the potential spread in the unfortunate case that an outbreak might occur. Norwegian has also gone on to partner with the Royal Caribbean Group to help study and improve on additional changes that might need to be made in the future to continue to promote healthy and safe travels.
Even closer to home, the American Cruise Lines will also be reducing its capacity to only 25% of guests for ships that are featuring schedules to the Columbia and Snake Rivers, the Mississippi, and the coast of New England. This smaller cruise line had intentionally planned to resume sailing in June but has pushed that date farther back into the fall to help implement their contactless check-in for guests and create sanitizing stations and implement continuous sanitization procedures all high traffic touchpoints. They will also provide crew members with all personal protective equipment such as face shields, gloves, and masks, noting that all PPE equipment will be required.
Dr. Catherine Barnes is a highly experienced educator, world traveler, businesswoman, and author located in Jacksonville, Florida. Dr. Barnes also owns and operates two businesses: Dare 2 Dream Travel Agency and Sudden Impact Solutions. Travel has been an essential part of Dr. Barnes’s life for as long as she can remember. She has visited every continent save Antarctica, and her travels ultimately inspired her to become a travel agent.