The cruise industry was hit hard during the Covid-19 pandemic, in fact, the travel industry was brought to its knees virtually overnight. Now, almost 2 years on, and things are starting to get back to normal. Cruising is booming, with some cruise lines already seeing pre-pandemic booking levels for the first part of 2022.
Now that the industry is back up and running, we wanted to share with you some information on how cruise lines are keeping guests safe at sea. Well, they’ve been doing that for years, but these days there are additional procedures in place – so let’s look at some of the covid safe cruising procedures.
Remember, protocols vary, so always double check what policies are in place both pre, during and post-cruise. Flexible booking conditions have also been introduced by all cruise lines, and we can advise on those pre-booking, just to make sure they are right for you. Our team of experts are always on hand to answer your cruise related questions.
For most, guests now need to be double or triple vaccinated. We strongly suggest you double check this information when you book as it does vary and there are different rules for children and infants. For example, MSC Cruises requires all children over the age of 12 years old to be fully vaccinated to sail and all guests aged 2 and over must produce a negative Covid test result prior to boarding. All cruise lines require guests to have a Covid test before being allowed to board the ship. For those on cruises that sail directly from the UK, embarkation times are set with your cruise information – you’re given a specific time to arrive at the cruise terminal. For those on fly-cruises, the rules for arriving at the terminal may differ slightly, so always double check.
A lot of cruise lines have now removed the need to do a face-to-face muster drill, instead, these are now played through your TV in your cabin. You’ll often find the other services of the TV are disabled until the video has been watched in full.
Face masks are still commonplace when moving around inside the ship. Guests seated in restaurants and bars or enjoying the outer decks don’t need to wear a mask, but they are requested when freely moving in inside public areas. Some cruise lines will accept a shield as a face covering but others, such as Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines do prefer that guests wear face masks.
It’s recommended to remain within a social bubble whilst onboard, only socialising and dining with those in your bubble. It makes sense, given that we are still being asked to remember social distancing when going about our daily lives.
You’ll also find some restrictions with the likes of the kids’ clubs onboard. For example, P&O Cruises ask guests to register their children for the club before embarkation, due to children being put in cohorts for scheduled sessions during their holiday.
Last, but not least, it’s sanitation! Cruise ships have always had high levels of cleanliness for obvious reasons, but now, they’re at an even higher level. Every surface is wiped down and sanitised dozens of times throughout the day. This includes handrails, cabin door handles, public area door handles, tables, chairs – everything you could possibly imagine. Remember, you must wash your hands numerous times a day with soap and warm water, and always use hand sanitiser when entering public areas.
Together, we can get cruise life back to normal.