Norwegian Cruise Line Reveals Plan: NEW Cruise Health and Safety Protocols

Norwegian Cruise Line Reveals New Safe Cruising Measures

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NCL’s Plan to Start Cruising Again: New Protocols

In exciting news, Norwegian Cruise Line released new health and safety measures for when cruising will resume.

As explained on the NCL website, the cruise line has been working closely with the CDC on stringent protocols and safety measures which will be implemented across the fleet.

I am very happy with what I see from the measures and protocols so far, however Norwegian Cruise Line points out that they are committed to passenger and crew safety and there is even more to come.

Norwegian Escape 6 x 4 (1)

NCL’s Enhanced Health and Safety Protocols Consists of 6 New Measures

1. New Air Filtration System

Norwegian Cruise Line will be installing medical grade H13 Hepa filters which will remove 99.5% of airborne pathogens on the cruise ship, ensuring the air passengers and crew breathe is clean.

2.Enhanced Screening Protocols

There will be enhanced health screenings for both passengers and crew, and there will be much more monitoring for potential health issues, as a preventative measure.

For passengers, there will be a pre-embarkation health screening and those considered at risk will undergo additional screening. Touchless temperature checks will be done prior to embarkation as well as upon return from ports of call and at other times during the cruise.

Recognizing the importance of crew health, there will be temperature checks several times a day as well as rigid sanitation protocols. They’ve addressed the pre-employment medical examination process, by enhancing their protocols and screening. They are also looking into testing capabilities on board the cruise ship.

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3. Increased Sanitation Measures

All Norwegian Cruise Line ships will be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly before every cruise voyage. NCL has developed their company protocols in partnership with the Center for Disease Control’s Vessel Sanitation Program. Onboard the cruise ships, public areas and staterooms will be cleaned and disinfected at a higher frequency as well as with the use of Electrostatic Spray Technology.

  • There will be HOCI fogging of cruise cabins and public areas. Interestingly, as explained by NCL “(HOCI) Hypochlorous acid is a non-toxic, powerful oxidant that effectively kills bacteria, spores, and viruses. It is natural and safe to use in open areas since it is comprised of natural elements such as water and salt, and electric charge.”
  • There will be a high frequency of cleaning for high touchpoint and high traffic areas around the cruise ship.
  • There will now be full-service buffets, where crew will serve guests, and this will include beverage stations.
  • Guests will be highly encourages to wash hands frequently as well as use hand sanitizers placed around the ship. 
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4. Responsible Social Distancing

The guest capacity will be reduced to ensure social distancing, especially in public areas both on the ship and at check in and embarkation.

There will be online checkin and a staggered embarkation process.

Onboard, all cruise ship activities will be available, however may be modified to ensure social distancing. In some cases, the activties may operate at a reduced capacity and they will ensure proper social distancing measures can be taken.

5. Enhanced Medical Resources

A number of improvements have been made to the medical facilities and resources on board. Norwegian Cruise Line is increasing their medical team across the fleet, and has created a new position of Public Health Officer.

Onboard medical centers will be fully equipped with the latest testing kits and medical supplies. As well, each ship will have a dedicated isolation area should it be needed.

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6. Extended Ship to Shore Safety

Norwegian Cruise Line is partnering with local destinations and tour operators to ensure safe excursions and experiences in the ports of call. NCL points out that the cruise line will visit safe, open ports of call and will keep cruise passengers informed of any changes impacting itineraries.

As a reminder, Norwegian’s safe cruising program is evolving and they point out that this is just the beginning of the new enhancements and technologies being made to ensure safe cruise travel.
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Final thoughts: Norwegian Cruise Line Reveals Plan: NEW Cruise Health and Safety Measures

These new enhancements are amazing – I’m especially happy to be hearing about the air onboard being addressed, as well as crew safety and health. 

The cruise industry is vibrant and innovative, and as cruisers know, has always been a safe way to travel. As I mentioned in this post, How Will Cruising Change, Recover and Restore Cruisers’ Confidence Once Again , I believe that out of difficult situations, positive changes can come. I think this is the beginning of a new, more confident age of cruising as cruise lines are adapting and creating safer environments for all. 

Have these health and safety measures addressed your concerns? What other changes can you foresee? Please let me know in the comments below.

Happy cruising!

Ilana xoxo

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  1. Gina
    June 2, 2020 / 6:07 am

    How will the obligatory muster be accomplished while social distancing?

    • June 2, 2020 / 11:22 am

      That’s a good question Gina. Norwegian did not give details at this time. I imagine they will be making some changes to the way it is done – could it be in 2 groupings? This must be information coming in the future that perhaps they are still working on logistically.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment!


  2. Ginny Wilbur
    June 2, 2020 / 10:15 pm

    Will people be required to wear masks when out of their rooms?

    • June 3, 2020 / 12:48 am

      That’s a great question Ginny. I do not see any information stating passengers will be required to wear masks. However, Norwegian has said that their plan is still developing, so this remains to be seen.

      Thanks for bringing this up – we’ll keep an eye out over the next few weeks for more news.


    September 4, 2020 / 2:28 pm

    Wearing a mask on the cruise ship is a deal breaker for me. We will cancel our reservation and go elsewhere.

    • September 10, 2020 / 2:06 pm

      I can understand Stephen. Major cruise lines haven’t announced their safety protocols for the US yet, but this looks likely for the beginning. I realize it’s a deal breaker for many.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment – I’m actually creating a YouTube video about this generally. I know that people have genuine concerns about how this might be

  4. Samantha Smith
    January 4, 2022 / 2:21 pm

    Thanks for spreading informative cruise news!!!

    I was gifted my own personal size HOCI machine from a fellow cruise enthusiast I met on an NCL cruise in the good ol’ days prior to covid

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