Dear Cruise Club Members,
Now that virtually every major cruise line, resort, & tour company is back to traveling, we would like to bring all of our members up to date as to our personal input relative to the safety of traveling.
As the CDC recently modified its vaccination, booster, and travel policies, our office has been buried in new bookings from clients who have been cooped up at home for two years, afraid to venture out. In fact, a number of our clients are booking multiple cruises for 2022, 2023, and 2024!
With respect to cruising, we still consider cruising to be the safest form of travel. Why? Simply because ALL of the major cruise lines continue to require every guest to provide an original proof of vaccination and proof of any applicable booster shot, as well as a current, negative Antigen or PCR test prior to boarding.
Facemasks are still required in most cruise terminals with some cruise lines still requiring the use of a face mask in highly congested areas on a ship. For additional safety and security, many of the cruise lines also require guests and crew members to take a COVID test prior to disembarking the ship at the end of a cruise. At the moment, some ships are purposely sailing with as few as 30% passenger capacity just to increase spacing and be on the safe side. As time goes by, cruise lines will slowly bring each ship back up to full capacity with an expectation from many industry experts that that will happen this year.
Unfortunately, the CDC does NOT require any of the crowded, top worldwide resorts, hotels, amusement parks, tour companies, sporting events, concerts, restaurants, etc. to mandate rigid COVID testing as required by all major cruise lines. As a result, you don’t know if the hundreds or thousands of people you are near have COVID or are A-symptomatic with COVID but displaying no symptoms, etc.
The cruise lines face a unique dilemma - one they have VOLUNTARILY decided to tackle head-on for all cruises. Virtually every major cruise line has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to expand their onboard medical facilities and medical staffing to treat COVID-related cases, should any occur.
Let me repeat: not one adult passenger or crew member can board ANY ship if they cannot provide positive proof of vaccination and a negative COVID test within 72 – 24 hours of boarding a ship (based on each cruise ship healthy protocols). Some cruise lines are also now permitting children who have not been vaccinated to cruise subject to an Antigen or PCR test in the cruise terminal before they are permitted to board a ship.
If a passenger or crew member tests positive for COVID after a ship sets sail, that passenger or crew member is immediately isolated in specially equipped cabins and away from other passengers. They are then disembarked at the next available port with arrangements to provide immediate hotel isolation or travel home.
Please note that the CDC does NOT require popular amusement parks, football stadiums, ballparks, hockey rinks, resorts, crowded beaches, theaters, and restaurants to report guests who present COVID symptoms or become ill. Nor do most of these venues require proof of vaccination or COVID test to enter. In fact, most entertainment venues and stadiums in the US do not require or enforce the wearing of face masks.
So, my question to our members is this: do you feel safer under the precautions taken by most cruise lines - or sitting next to someone at a football, basketball, ballpark, or hockey game, amusement park, crowded beach, concert, theater, restaurant, or resort? In these cases, you have NO IDEA if the person next to you has been vaccinated or is COVID-positive. The fact that only a very small % of passengers on a cruise ship have ever been diagnosed with any serious COVID symptoms should be proof enough that cruising is safe!
THOUGHTS FROM OUR RECENT & UPCOMING CRUISES...
Over the past year, Leslie and I have cruised seven times without any major COVID outbreaks or serious illnesses being reported. While I did personally diagnose positive with mild COVID symptoms on a recent cruise, I made a speedy recovery and tested negative within 7-days with nothing more than a cough and minor head cold with no fever or other major symptoms. Compared to catching the Flu, this was nothing!
Leslie and I are currently booked on a number of future cruises including a 10-night cruise from Istanbul to Athens July 17th on the luxurious Oceania Riviera and from Iceland to Amsterdam on August 26th on the Christening and 9-night Inaugural Voyage of the brand new NCL Prima with Katy Perry as the Godmother!
Cruising is still THE safest form of vacation available today! While we respect our client's concerns about taking a cruise or being vaccinated, the facts speak for themselves.
Please feel free to give us a call at 800-982-2276 and “pick our brains” with respect to the safety of traveling. We are EXPERTS - and can help you find the right cruise to fit your lifestyle and budget during 2022, 2023, and 2024.
Wishing you and your family a safe, happy and healthy 2022!